These days, your reputation can be boosted or destroyed with just one comment or 140 characters. Luckily, there are ways to keep track of what people are saying about you as you increase your presence online. Here are three free tools you can use:
1. Tweet Deck. Download this application to your phone or desktop to monitor what people are saying about you on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Foursquare and Google Buzz. It sorts your @replies, DMs, friends and more into organized columns, and you can create your own customized columns of information.
Use if you have lots of followers (300 plus), multiple social media accounts and lots of conversations on the go.
2. Google Alerts. Put in specific keywords and Google Alerts will send you e-mails with the latest news, blogs, videos and discussions around your specified search terms. In addition to monitoring your brand name, use Google Alerts to follow financial news stories and your competitors. Tip: If you see people mentioning your brand or name, try e-mailing them and asking them to include a link to your website.
Use if you think your name might be mentioned on a website or if you want to stay informed and monitor industry news and competitors.