As digital becomes a second life for millions of users, brands are turning to reputation management software to-
- Build their online credibility and trust.
- Connecting with their users on an immediate basis.
- Identifying problems, issues and getting feedback from users about their brand.
- Making reputation management a key tenet of their brand-building exercise.
- Implementing various reputation management software on SEO services, social media marketing services and so on.
In the last couple of years, the KPIs of any digital marketing strategy has undergone a sea change.
It is no longer restricted to just reaching out to new customers. In other words, given the online competition between brands, businesses are looking to retain their existing customers.
This is where an excellent Reputation Management Software becomes an essential component.
In this article, we will look at the top 10 Reputation Management Software that brands are using to further their aims.
There is a common misconception that only the big brands that can afford to use such software. This is not the case. Small and medium businesses can also use reputation management software effectively.
If businesses are smart and strategic, they can take help from free tools and software as well. In this article, we discuss some of the most common, as well as the most sophisticated reputation management tools in the digital marketing industry.
Reputation Management Software: Meaning and Definition-
Online Reputation Management (ORM) is the process of using certain tools and software to know about what people and other brands are speaking about you in the online world.
In other words, ORM concerns itself with finding out positive and negative reviews about your brand on various-
- Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
- Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Safari, etc.
- Review platforms like Quora, Reddit, Yelp, etc.
- Employee-centric platforms like Glassdoor.
- E-commerce platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, and others.
A Reputation Management Software helps in shaping and influencing public opinion about your brand.
The dangers of an unaddressed negative review of your brand online can destroy your reputation and sales in no time.
It can result in a brand losing that particular customer. It can also have an effect on everyone else, which comes across that negative review.
This means that one single unattended negative review can make a brand lose hundreds and thousands of customers.
Not to mention the kind of hit your revenues and sales estimation can take.
According to SEO Expert Brad, no reviews are as bad as negative reviews. People want to ensure that you are a credible business. They need to feel safe and assured about your product and services.
A key function of a Reputation Management Software is monitoring reviews online.
Smart tools have built-in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and can help address negative reviews and comments instantly.
The tools and software can start from anywhere between $20 USD and go up to $1000 USD per month. Depending upon the nature of your business, you can choose the software which best suits your interest and need.
10 Best Reputation Management Software: The List
I would like to make a small clarification at the very beginning. Not all the points on the list correspond to paid reputation management software.
Since I always try to direct my articles towards small and medium businesses as well, I have included platforms and inexpensive ORM services.
It is not only the big brands, which have to maintain their reputation online. Small brands too can do the same, if they are smart, strategic and frugal.
The first four points address small and medium businesses. Yes, the bigger brands can also take help from them, as they are highly advantageous and beneficial.
1. Chat-bots as the first line of defence:
If you have a responsive website, most people would not feel the need to go anywhere else. In my experience, I have seen people going on review sites simply because the website does not engage with them.
This means that integrating a chat-bot will help you engage with consumers on your site. Sure, your website might have a contact us form, but that is not dynamic and prompt enough. A direct messaging chat-bot that encourages people to reach out to you is beneficial.
The key is to address the concerns of people within a specified period. Chatbots are not too expensive and small and medium businesses can easily afford subscriptions.
The most basic Chatbots are programmed with 7 to 8 pre-recorded messages to ease consumer interaction. It also notifies you immediately and you can then take the manual route.
Read more: An Advanced Guide to Chatbots
2. Google Alerts:
In our bid to be updated with the most sophisticated tools, we often lose sight of the most basic ones. Google Alert is something that most brands are not even aware of. You do not need to hire a digital marketing agency to activate Google Alerts.
All you need to do is search ‘Google Alerts’ and set up the mentions that you want to be aware of. Just follow this up by adding an email id, where Google will alert you about your mentions.
All sites, including review ones, are on Google search. This is the biggest platform that can scour your mention. Google Alerts is a free, simple and highly effective reputation management software.
If you are a small or medium scale business, you should immediately set up your Google Alerts.
3. An active Social Media Marketing team:
For a brand, their social media pages are the platforms, which get the most exposure. In 2019, no brand cannot afford to have a social media page. More exposure means more engagement; more engagement means more reviews.
A brand’s users typically comment or post negatively on a brand’s social media page. They can also Direct Message (DM) you on the platform. This is where an active and enthusiastic social media marketing team can be your brand’s best reputation managers.
Please avoid deleting negative comments or reviews on your social media pages. Instead, take it up as a challenge, engage with the complainant and address his complaints. This will help you build your credibility in the eyes of many users.
Try to reply to comments and messages within a 12-hour period. The faster the reply, the better you will be able to control the situation and your reputation.
4. Google My Business (GMB) Reviews:
A GMB page is also something that Google promotes every time someone searches for you or your industry. People often look up GMB reviews for getting an idea about the business. In the last few years, people have started writing reviews on GMB for brands aggressively.
As a brand, you need to be always aware of the comments that are being posted on your GMB page. Make it a point to reply to each one of them within a 24-hour period. As soon as you get a new review, Google lets you know immediately.
If you are active in terms of replying, engaging and addressing users on GMB, you will see better reviews and feedback.
5. Review Monitoring Software: Reputology
There are hundreds of review monitoring software available in the market. I have personally used Reputology and found it to be amongst the very best. I based my assessment of the following facts.
- Reputology helps you track reviews in multiple geographical locations. (Best for brands that have shops, franchises, and showrooms in different geographical locations).
- The software integrates with your Hootsuite dashboard seamlessly. This helps you address your reviews and social media marketing functions from one dashboard.
- It is affordable, easy and cheap. A multiple location plan sets you back by just $49 USD.
However, the icing on the cake is one feature that stands heads and shoulders above everything else. You can answer reviews on multiple platforms just from Reputology’s App itself. There is no need to log in individually to all platforms. One App, 100 Responses!
6. Complaint Sites Presence: Go Fish Digital
In the last couple of years, nearly all industries have come up with their own review and complaint sites. From automobiles to tech, from food to fashion, you can now have hundreds of platforms.
This makes it impossible to track the review section and complaints of your brand on all review platforms. This is where Go Fish’s Digital Complaint Tracker helps you. The platform searches over 40 complaint sites and throws up results of your brand or product.
This can help you go to that review/complaint platform and address the issue at hand. Go Fish Digital’s tool is highly advantageous for maintaining third-party tracking for your brand mentions.
A motorcycle brand might have its product listed on 100 affiliate and review sites. Is it possible for it to check manually for brand mentions? No, it is not! This is where this tool becomes an invaluable asset.
7. Social Monitoring Tool: Sprout Social
I have used several Social Media Marketing tools like Hootsuite, Buffer and Sprout Social. However, as compared to Hootsuite and Buffer, I have found Sprout Social to be particularly useful.
This is not to say that others are not good enough. When there are similar strong products, the choice becomes more of personal opinion. However, Sprout Social offers something very useful and informative from a brand’s perspective.
I am sure that not many of you would have heard about ‘Sentiment Analysis’. This social media behavioral trend, which helps brands understand their users and TG. Sprout Social offers reports, review management and other inputs for managing your online reputation.
Sprout Social is not cheap. It starts from a minimum of $99 USD Plan. This makes it difficult for small brands and agencies to subscribe. However, if you work with a digital marketing agency, you can ask them to subscribe. They can use it for multiple brands. A truly win-win situation for both agency and brand.
8. All-In-One Media Monitoring Platform: Critical Mention
A multi-million dollar brand does not want to monitor only on social media and Google. They want to monitor their brand on TV, print, radio and other forms of physical and traditional media.
All the above reputation management software manage only the ORM part. However, big brands want to monitor their mention on all platforms. This is why a platform like Critical Mention becomes indispensable.
The software helps track a brand’s mention on all forms of media- online and offline. This means no matter where your brand finds mention, Critical Mention is going to find it.
In terms of complete reporting, analysis, and feedback, no tool or software can match up to Critical Mention. It guarantees notifications within 60 seconds of any mention! This makes it one of the most powerful reputation management software on the market in 2019.
Some of its clientele- McDonalds, Southwest Airlines, CBS Network, and VH1.
9. Check the reputation of your Backlinks: SEO Spyglass
If you think that reputation can only be managed in the eyes of users, you have just covered one aspect. Have you paused to think about your reputation in the eyes of Google and other search engines?
I guess not! Keeping a track of where your website’s backlinks are is crucial for any business. If your backlinks are places in spammy and questionable Private Blog Networks, you are sitting on a ticking time bomb. Google will find you eventually and penalize you accordingly.
This is why a powerful tool like SEO Spyglass helps keep track of all your backlinks. This software can help tell you-
- Where your backlinks are (in which website)
- What are the metrics of the site carrying your backlink
- What are the steps that you need to take immediately
With brands becoming more and more competitive, some agencies are engaging in bad competitive practices. This means they are paying link resellers and PBNs to place their competitor links on spammy sites. I assure you, this is happening at a rampant rate.
10. Build Positive Reviews: Gather Up
Positive reviews from users can become your biggest brand-building pillars. However, it is not easy to get favorable reviews and feedback all the time. Human beings have a general tendency of complaining more and complimenting less.
This is why a reputation management software like Gather Up becomes crucial for businesses. The tool helps engage with consumers through emails and text, encouraging them to drop a review.
It also helps provide the standard reporting from over 30 popular review sites on the internet. Positive reviews are like gold dust for businesses. According to some estimates, one positive review drives up sales by more than 5%!
Generating reviews, rather than waiting for them to happen can give you a sizable advantage over your competitors.
The above-stated list is something that I have personally been fortunate enough to use. I will be honest that some of the subscriptions are beyond the reach of small businesses.
However, I made it a point to start the list with free and affordable reputation management software. Reputation cannot be a monopoly of only the big brands. Small brands too can grow incrementally through reputation management.
I hope that the above list has been able to address questions on what Reputation Management Software brands should use. In the past few years, digital marketing agencies along with social media marketing agencies have become active in this field.
They use automation and tools to bring about better results for brands. The reporting part of an agency’s work is often taken care of by this software and tools.
I would like to end the article with a relevant quote from the world’s richest man (at the moment).
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room”- Jeff Bezos.
If you wish to know more about reputation management, please feel free to reach out.