Why Does Brand Reputation Management Start With Online Reputation Monitoring?
Let's face it. Communications teams today struggle with setting up clear metrics for tracking the impact of their efforts. Yes, it might be possible to have a granular view of your brand's reputation through review sites, analyzing social media, setting up alerts, or religiously tracking your website performance with analytics tools.
However, so many different activities are going on simultaneously that it gets hard to see the big picture and ensure that the efforts of the communications teams or brand managers are effective.
Tools that are available online are not exactly fit for today's needs.
How to monitor online reputation and better understand brand's communication activities?
What is reputation monitoring (and why it matters)
Company reputation today consists of multiple interconnected dimensions that help you see how different stakeholders see your company. Everyone who matters to you – employees and customers to partners and media – might use different communication channels.
And yet, everyone needs to cut through the noise and receive the right message about your brand.
That's especially important because people tend to place less trust in traditional media. Pew Research Center reports that younger Americans trust news they find on social media almost as much as information distributed through national news outlets.
Your employer branding campaigns, product marketing strategy, thought leadership initiatives, and brand reputation management efforts shape how the world sees your company. Reputation monitoring connects all of these efforts and ensures you send out a clear message on every channel.
If you monitor your reputation online, you can make informed decisions about the next strategic moves everywhere, from traditional to social media.
The benefits of monitoring online reputation
Brand's online reputation is one of the most powerful assets that can increase sales, encourage new hires to join the company, or even simplify crisis management. While building the initial online reputation might take time, regular (even if small) efforts will bring positive results in the long run.
So, what are the seven key benefits reputation monitoring provides your team?
- Analyze your company reputation from the perspective of different stakeholders
- Clearly understand your target audience and their interests
- Monitor brand mentions and strategically plan your next move
- Boost customer satisfaction with better customer service
- Increase sales by building a consistently positive brand image
- Monitor online reviews to identify potential problems
- Improve SEO rankings to ensure all stakeholders can easily find your brand on the first page of any search platform.
Business reputation monitoring tools in 2023
Before trying out different online reputation management tools, consider reviewing the typical ways of collecting reputation monitoring data in 2023.
Let's see how communication teams typically track these metrics today.
1. SERP analysis
People tend to outsource their memory to the search box today. This is derived from transactive memory, a process first analyzed by social psychologist Daniel Wegner in 1985. The concept proposes that groups of humans tend to store and share their knowledge in one system. In essence, it claims that group members are responsible for remembering a part of information and expect others to memorize the rest.
Today, this shared responsibility of storing information has been transferred to search engines.
We don't need to remember things because all the world's information is one quick search away. That's why it's essential to ensure your brand holds the top positions on the first page of the search page.
Getting noticed among the million online sources might sound like a daunting task. However, investing in SEO from day one, optimizing your website, and constantly creating high-value content is a surefire way to build a positive brand image.
On top of that, SEO tools allow you to understand your website standing among competitors and also provides you with:
- Search intent analysis
- Industry keyword search query analysis
- Competitor keyword tracking
- Audience reach analysis
However, most SEO tools will cover just a part of the entire reputation and cost between 119–179 euros monthly for professional plans.
2. Social media monitoring
From online conversations on a Twitter thread to tracking your follower count on LinkedIn – all social media channels offer plenty of ways to understand your online presence better.
Regularly posting and interacting with others on social media will help your brand grow quicker. To get a complete picture, track not only the overall follower count but also the engagement, impressions, comments, and likes.
With huge volumes of information generated across social media accounts, it might take a lot of work to balance responding to reviews while analyzing the data available to you.
Listening to what people say in real-time creates an opportunity to instantly enhance the customer experience while seeing the likes and shares of your content will help you understand if your content is relevant.
3. Online reviews monitoring
Many of your customers will rely on online reviews and research them before buying your product. Yelp, Glassdoor, Trustpilot, App Store, or Google reviews can be the perfect places that help you monitor what people have to say about your brand online. Review management is the easiest way to get in touch with your customers and future employees. Also, it’s a fantastic tool that will help you indicate what makes customers leave.
Learning what your potential customers are saying about you online might not always be fun, but this creates an opportunity for you to improve.
Collect all your positive mentions and deal with negative reviews. You will notice a pattern of what you are doing correctly and what needs to be fixed. Since your product or service gets ranked on each review monitoring site, you’ll have great metric to track.
Most customer support teams would utilize review management software that collects all your online reviews in one place. Ensure that your communication team has access to it or at least regularly get updates on how it's going.
4. Brand alerts
Your company can be mentioned in various spaces – from top media to blogs to review sites or social media. Keeping an eye on different channels where your brand is mentioned might be challenging because there are millions of online sources.
For the typical communications team, both the quantity of mentions and their quality are important. Having a profile about your company's CEO in reputable media is way more desirable than having a quick remark about your product in a blog. So two main things to track here are the total amount of brand mentions and the website's domain authority.
While there are some free brand keyword reputation monitoring tools such as Google Alerts (or you can try to track the mentions on Twitter), on many occasions, they only manage to catch some of the publications.
The alternative – paid tools – can run up to 128–149 euros per month for seven keywords, which can be a steep price that does not even cover all company's needs.
5. Sentiment analysis
Sentiment analysis tools help to dive deeper into the topic and analyze the quality of your brand mentions. Sentiment analysis defines the ratio between positive and negative mentions. While being mentioned is important, a negative comment from a highly reliable source will likely bring a communication crisis upon you.
Most tools that track brand mentions will offer some version of sentiment analysis. Keep an eye on the quality of this type of analysis. In some cases, tools cannot correctly analyze human language, including the use of sarcasm. This might land an innocent comment in the "negative" sentiment graph.
6. Share of voice analysis
One of the traditional communication metrics, the share of voice analysis, compares the percentage of the market your brand takes up across different channels (typically also including traditional media such as TV), compared to their main competitors.
It might sound easy enough, but analyzing the market, knowing the product, and understanding the marketing strategy requires quite a lot of effort. Usually, it is done by a dedicated media monitoring agency.
Today, the analysis expanded into additional layers, including share of social, share of PPC, and share of SERP.
Tools used for reputation monitoring
So, what are the typical tools that communications teams can use to monitor online reputation, track brand visibility, and inform the brand strategy? Usually, it's a combination of:
- Traditional media monitoring tools or agencies that analyze the share of voice
- SEO tracking tools for audience reach and search intent analysis
- Social listening tools for tracking brand-related keywords
- Website analysis tools (such as Google Analytics) that help to understand the target audience better
- Tracking reviews sites for product and company reviews
- Monitoring online discussions on social media and forums to stay connected to the customers and other stakeholders
How to monitor online reputation?
Becoming an authority in your field and building trust in your brand begins with having a complete view of your current assets, understanding your strengths, and analyzing your flaws. Repsense creates a tool that helps to monitor online reputation in one dashboard. With it, you can analyze the noise your company makes online and define what kind of signals you need to send out about your brand.
Want to learn more? Book a demo.
Let’s see how we can help you build up your reputation
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