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.
3. Social Mention. This tool searches and compiles user-generated content from over 100 social media platforms. You can track and measure what people are saying about you, your company or a particular topic. Just like Google Alerts, you can also receive e-mails with the latest mentions of your brand name within social media networks.
Use if you use social media frequently and regularly engage in conversations, or your business has a large presence online.
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Lisa Craveiro works in the online marketing department at Advisor Websites, where she manages social media accounts and helps financial services professionals gain a better understanding of how to increase their online presence. She has previously worked in a number of roles as a marketing coordinator, crafting and executing online and outdoor media strategies. Visit http://www.advisorwebsites.com/blog/ for more information.