Online reputation management begins with proactive public relations strategy. Measurement of online brand acceptance and social media activity associated to a brand is a critical component in determining success and value of campaign efforts. How can you monitor your efforts to know whether you're making a difference?
Strategies for effective online brand management require a nimble structure. Online reputation management technologies evolve with the market, as emerging technologies are launched. Every day, new platforms are introducing themselves to the market, enabling deeper insight into trends associated with brand discussions and competitive strategies.
There are several social media monitoring tools that are useful in monitoring online reputation management efforts, both paid and free. To follow are three areas you should monitor, with tools for online brand measurement.
Benchmark Your Current Online Brand Position.
Monitoring of website, social media pages, and blog visits are a basic metric of every online reputation management campaign. The first steps of measurement should begin with a benchmark for number of visits, unique visitors, page views per visit, and time spent on the online brand site. From there, you can graduate to measuring a visitor's progress, activity associated with pages, the success of campaign components, then begin to calculate the ROI of your online marketing efforts.
Any basic, free analytics program, Google Analytics, StatCounter, even your web log files, can give you basic numbers of web visitors. However, to find deaf stats in online reputation management, you may want to consider a paid research and monitoring service that uses a full-service professional analytics package.
Consider Trends of Associated Brand Discussions.
Online brand management auditors monitoring stats which answer these questions: What do people say about your brand? What is their mood, tone, and voice associated with brand discussions? Where are they talking about your brand? What demographic is listening and responding to brand discussions?
These questions are important in B2C and B2B marketing, because consumers are more likely to listen to each other than they are to react to brand advertising. They respond to family and friends first. Within social media platforms such as Linked In, Facebook and Twitter, social blog platforms of WordPress and Blogger, people are speaking about your products and services. They will tell their friends when they are happy or displeased with your brand. Monitoring of this activity enables brand managers to pick up comments and activity associated with a brand, immediately, while activity is taking place, and respond before negative sentiment spins out of control.
Radian6 and ScoutLabs are two social media monitoring tools that monitor several different social networks, although they're a little pricey for a small business. Vocus is another paid tool that measures social media, as well as PR and news mentions. Working with an online brand management agency, which specializes in online reputation management within social media is beneficial. These companies handle online reputation management for several clients, therefore your company is not incurring the costs of social media monitoring tools.
Evaluate Your Competition.
Reputation management includes competitive brand monitoring. There are competitors, partners, vendors, and other people who can affect the reputation of your brand. Monitoring their activity assists you in measuring the success of your online reputation management efforts. For example, is your largest competitor ranked in search engine results within industry targeted categories? Are your vendors and partners talking about you in their online communication or within social media?
Determining the success in online reputation management enables brand managers and individuals to understand trends of discussions occurring within social media, which are associated to the brand, and could be impacting brand value and acceptance. Evaluating competitive strategy and associated brand positions provide additional insight. Online brand strategy today requires a fluid position, one that considers the newest technologies and emerging platforms for measurement. Brand success will be determined by current and future trends in technology of online and mobile brand management.