If you aren’t tracking your online reputation, this article will offer 10 easy tools for start monitoring your brand online.

Why Monitor Your Brand?

There are a few reasons:

  • Reputation management. When bad press hits or when customers complain, you want to be the first on the scene to control damage, assuage fears, and manage the fire.
  • Tracking customer opinions. Whether your brand mention appears in a blog, in media outlets, or on a social network, you want to know how they view your product and your service.
  • Communications optimization. When you know how your brand appears online, you can identify communications weaknesses that need fixing, such as PR, technical communications, or marketing issues.
  • Improved customer service. Quick responses to online mentions, both positive and negative, can enhance your relationships with your customers.

By tracking your online reputation, you can track these crucial issues and control symptoms of these problems – such as negative search results that can harm your brand image.

Whether you’re a local business, a freelancer, or a large enterprise, you should examine these tools:

10 Free and Paid Brand Monitoring Tools

1. IFTTT

If you haven’t started using IFTTT, now is the time.

This handy tool allows you to customize a multitude of online channels. To use it, you set up a “trigger” channel that then activates an “action” channel. For instance, every time your brand is mentioned on Twitter, IFTTT can send you a text, an email, a push notification, and so forth.

2. Google Alerts

This one should be obvious.

Google Alerts is a Google service that tracks searches as they appear on the web, in the news, and on blogs. This can be set up for any search term you choose, and emails can be sent out daily or weekly.

3. Mention

Like Google Alerts, Mention tracks web content. But it also tracks social media mentions. The free plan is just a teaser, allowing you to track one mention for one user, up to 250 times per month. This tool includes basic analytics and is ideal for freelancers, independent contractors, and small businesses.

Other plans range from $29 per month to $299 per month.

4. Hootsuite

While Hootsuite is a social media management tool, it can also be used as a brand monitoring tool. If you haven’t used Hootsuite before, it’s definitely worth exploring, since it has both free and paid plans.

To monitor brand mentions with Hootsuite, set up a separate stream or streams with your specific keyword searches. This approach will let you stay on top of social media mentions, but it doesn’t offer any in-depth analytics or big-picture insights.

5. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a content research tool that lets you track online content based on how many shares it receives across several social networks.

While this tool is ideal for content marketers, it also doubles up as a reputation monitoring utility. With the Pro version, you can find out which content is trending and how people really view your brand. Alerts can also be set up, so you stay on top of mentions as they happen.

6. Brandwatch

Brandwatch takes brand monitoring to the next level.

This toolset is specifically designed to help brands monitor mentions, reputations, and the online conversation that revolves around their brand. Best suited for enterprise-grade brand tracking, Brandwatch’s analytics give you real-time, comprehensive listening power and social intelligence.

Prices start at $800 per month, so this tool is best suited for larger companies who have lots of data to track.

7. Trackur

Trackur, like Brandwatch, is another integrated social media monitoring toolset.

It allows companies to track social media and mainstream news in a single dashboard. Analytics provide basic monitoring features, such as keyword and trend tracking, as well as in-depth sentiment analysis and influence scoring.

This monitoring tool is much more affordable than Brandwatch at $97 per month and is ideal for small- to medium-sized businesses.

8. Radian6

Radian6 is part of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

This listening tool gives brands the ability to react instantly to brand mentions and social media comments. Like other tools, it offers actionable analytics and insight into your online reputation. As part of the Salesforce product line-up, though, its goal is to help brands improve their sales funnels and earn more profit.

Radian6 has the added benefit of linking to other Salesforce products, such as Salesforce CRM and Service Cloud. This should be the first stop for existing Salesforce customers.

9. BrandsEye

Like other enterprise-grade tools mentioned here, BrandsEye helps its customers monitor their reputation, manage risk, analyze their customers, perform market research, and optimize their marketing strategy.

A unique feature of this tool is the “BrandsEye Crowd,” which is a community of people who “bring local context and judgement” to brand mentions. The idea is that this Crowd helps to provide more insight than algorithms can generate on their own.

10. Viralheat

Viralheat, part of Cision’s social media toolset, gives brands the chance to monitor a variety of social media channels, from Facebook to Foursquare. Custom “Smart Streams” make it possible to create customized alerts, trend trackers, and monitoring hubs.

Analytics give brands the chance to turn that information into insight, and the tool’s content function allows companies to find and post content to match audience needs.

Analytics 10 Free and Paid Tools to Easily Start Monitoring Your Brand Online