In a previous post, we talked about the different factors that form your overall online reputation.
In this post, let’s talk about the actual tools you can use to monitor how your online reputation is doing.
By using these tools regularly — daily in fact — you’ll know:
- what PR, branding and marketing strategies are working
- what your prospects and clients are saying about you and your competitors online
- what makes up the current discourse about your market or industry
Think of these tools as your way of keeping your ear to the ground and your finger on the pulse of your industry.
1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool that lets you know how well your website is doing. Among other things, you’ll know how much traffic you’re getting, where they’re coming from, what keywords they’re using to find you through search engines, and what specific pages they’re looking at.
A cool new tool is Google Analytics’ real-time reports. You’ll know how many visitors are at your website Right Now, what page they’re reading, how long they’ve been there, and more.
With Google’s website optimizer, which is also free, you can split test different versions of landing pages so know which ones work best with your prospects.
Data from Google Analytics will help you optimize your website so you can provide content that resonates with your prospects and turns them into leads and clients.
2. Hootsuite or Tweetdeck
Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are two of the most popular Twitter dashboards that let you manage your social media activity. You can link them to your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts as well, so you only need to open one application to administer your activities in different social networks. Note that Tweetdeck is a program you download on your computer, and Hootsuite is accessed by a web browser and so is hosted “off” your computer which means team members can also access your account if you are co-tweeting with someone else for example. Both have apps for your iPhone or other smartphone and the iPad as well.
These applications aggregate your messages and retweets, but they also provide so much more. You can set up columns, for example, to display all mentions of a particular keyword or hashtag. This lets you monitor what people are saying about your brand, your competitor, and other relevant topics.
But there’s more. Hootsuite, for example, gives you a report so you know which of your tweets got the highest number of clicks and which influencer is talking about you. Use these results to learn how to write compelling tweets and links.
3. Google Reader or other RSS Reader
With over 60 new blogs created and nearly 100,000 new tweets posted every minute, how do you keep track of online content? With your Google Reader or other RSS reader.
Subscribe to the RSS feeds of the top blogs in your industry, Google blog and news search results for your product name, company name, names of executives, and top keywords. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds for Twitter search results. Sometimes these results are different than what you’ll see on Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. By using an RSS reader as well, you can capture everything.
4. Hubspot Grader
Hubspot’s Marketing Grader looks at the various factors we’ve talked about and gives your website and social networking efforts a grade. Along with a free report, you’ll get recommendations to improve your online marketing.
Use the Hubspot Grader every six months or so to see if your score is improving.
5. Email Marketing Analytics
The final tool for you to use is the reporting mechanism from your email marketing provider like Mailchimp, Aweber or one built into your shopping cart. Your email marketing software will tell you how many of your recipients opened your emails, and how many clicked on the links in your emails. You can experiment with different types of subject lines, days and times for sending messages, and email content to maximize your email marketing results.
These are the 5 tools you can and should use to monitor and continually improve your online reputation. They will help keep your online PR and marketing machinery running smoothly.
Do you currently use them? What information has been most valuable for you? Are there other tools we and our readers need to be aware of? Do share! Post a comment below, or connect with me on either Twitter or Facebook.
Image by Patrick Hoesly
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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