Have you Googled yourself? We’ve all done it, right? No matter whether we’re searching for ourselves, the perfect place to eat, the best price for a gaming console or a potential soulmate, the first place we check is online. We don’t want to rely on faith and goodwill alone anymore. The world is at our fingertips and if we’re not Googling, sharing socially or scrolling our timeline, then we’re likely sleeping. Which is why monitoring tools are really important for businesses.

Monitoring mentions and activities online that involve or refer to your business is crucial to understanding how you are perceived. More importantly, it gives you an opportunity to respond.

We value what other humans think. Of course, it’s not just the user that benefits from this highly digital world. As a business, it’s never been easier to gauge reactions to your brand, newest marketing campaigns or products. It’s as simple as picking up your smartphone, tablet or laptop and connecting.

We know how easy it is to fall down a social media hole, one minute you’re searching for reviews of your business, the next you’re listening to 90’s TV theme tunes and looking at cat memes. So, let us help you. Here are 5 of the best online monitoring tools for your business.

Google Alerts

Monitoring Tools - Google Alerts

Price: Free

The phrase “Google it” has become so ubiquitous, it’s become part of our language. We can now access real-time reviews, ratings, and opinions from real human beings.

When it comes to marketing, Google leads the way. There’s a reason we say “Google it” and not “search engine it”. They have a wealth of tools to help market your business and their mega-powered reputation means that almost everyone knows who they are, and what they do.

One of the most valuable monitoring tools they have on offer is Google Alerts. A handy service that allows you to log a keyword, then whenever new content featuring that word is published, you’ll receive an email alert. So, if you enter your business name as the keyword, every time someone mentions your brand you’ll get an alert showing you when and where.

It’s not only a valuable tool to monitor your own business online, but you can also keep an eye on your competitors.

Talkwalker

Price: Free

There are so many social platforms these days that keeping on top of them can be a full-time job in itself. While we recommend that you choose one or two channels to be the main output of your business, keeping an eye on all of the platforms can give you valuable insight into what your customers are saying about you. Talkwalker Alerts is a tool that monitors both social media and the web, unlike Google Alerts which only tracks web mentions. Keeping all of that info in one place means you don’t need to waste time channel hopping.

Hootsuite

Price: Free for up to 10 profiles, paid plans from $29/month

Sticking with social media, Hootsuite is another really powerful monitoring tool for businesses. It’s a social media hub where you can link together all of your social media channels and read and respond to posts about your brand. It allows you to set up streams using keywords — so you can build a channel dedicated solely to mentions of your brand.

It also features its own inbuilt analytics service, so you can monitor real-time data about how your brand and social media posts are performing.

SentiOne

Monitoring Tools - SentiOne

Price: starts at £249/month

SentiOne brands itself as a social listening tool, allowing you to filter and view not only recent mentions of your business but also 12 months worth of historical ones. With this monitoring tool, you can track your brand name, social media channels, or relevant keywords to see what people are saying about your company or sector. It scours thousands of web sources to find brand mentions, so it’s a really efficient way to search.

Unlimited keywords means this can be used for very targeted social listening, too: you could track and respond to general questions and articles related to your brand, or find opportunities where your competitors are featured – so you can jump in and be a part of the conversation.

Not only that, but it allows you to filter between positive and negative mentions so you can respond quickly to avert potential crises.

Reputology

Price: from $29/month, depending on number of ‘locations’

With more and more people taking the time to write and read reviews online, it’s vital to keep track of them. Review sites like TripAdvisor, FourSquare, and Facebook allow us to see the opinions of our peers, and as a global population, we love their authenticity.

However, any small business owner will know the impact a negative review can have on them. Reputology is a monitoring tool designed to exclusively check review websites and collate all mentions of your brand, allowing you to view and respond to feedback from customers.

It has a useful feature that allows you to convert negative reviews into customer service tickets to ensure they’re dealt with efficiently.

Just remember, when responding to negative reviews — your words will be visible to everyone. So keep it professional and polite! While a tongue-in-cheek approach might help you grab headlines, it’s more likely to lose you customers.

What’s your monitoring strategy? Monitoring tools make it a quick (and even automatic) job, so you can focus on what action you’ll take – rather than trying to find them in the first place.

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