Friday, February 5, 2010

How To Monitor Your Brand on the Web: For Free

You are going to LOVE us after you read this post found by Lily Zhu for Hubspot. Three SIMPLE ways to monitor your brand for FREE.

The importance of brand monitoring increases with the rise of new media. Just as you pay close attention to the things people say about your personal brand online, you should also pay close attention to conversations about your business. This will give you a better idea of the merits and weaknesses of your brand and how to address them.

Still not convinced? Here are three good reasons online brand monitoring matters:

1. The speed by which online comments travel multiplies their impact.

The sheer speed of the Internet -- one of the main reasons people use it for communication -- means comments can travel far and wide in no time. Just as a mere tweet may turn into a blog post and then make national news, a negative comment, genuine or not, may turn away hundreds of people who may have been willing to try your products. You can preempt such situations by monitoring your brand in social media, the blogosphere and on major discussion forums to catch sight of and fend off malicious brand attacks before others do.

2. The collection of individual comments gives you a more objective overview of prospects' and customers' perception of your products, and may help you improve them.

Different people prefer different sites, so gathering commentary from various online destinations enhances the likelihood of obtaining a representative sample of customers/prospects. Setting up tools such as Google Alerts allows you to aggregate relevant comments, making it easy to organize information. As a result, you'll have a better overall sense of how customers perceive your products. This will give you a better idea of the aspects of your products that need improvement and help you facilitate changes that will satisfy potential customers and strengthen your brand.

3. These tools also help you stay up-to-date with new trends that you can integrate into your product design or marketing strategies for your existing products.

Another advantage of online monitoring tools is they help you track news and changes in your industry. By tracking these industry trends, you can learn about the new needs of your customer base and base product design changes or marketing strategies on addressing these needs. By monitoring keywords relevant to your business, you can obtain a bigger picture of industry development to determine where your business stands in its context, helping you stay cognizant of the pace and direction of business development.

The rise of new media bridges the communication gap between sellers and buyers but also presents new challenges such as staying focused in the midst of information overflow. However, with the help of free online tools, businesses can become better equipped to interact with potential customers and, in turn, build stronger brands.

Video: How to Use Social Media to Manage Your Company Brand Online

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