Pubcon Vegas: Reputation Management – Monitoring Your Brand Online

By Janet Driscoll Miller | Nov 8, 2011
More Articles by Janet


The online reputation monitoring panel featured three heavy hitters in ORM: Andy Beal, Brian Chappell and Rhea Drysdale.

Andy Beal

Andy Beal from Trackur started off with 6 steps to become an online reputation monitoring NINJA! He discussed how to lay the foundation for reputation monitoring:

  1. Understand your goals. Why are you monitoring in the first place? To increase engagement? Measure campaign success? Track rogue employees? Monitor competitors? Keep an eye on your CEO?
  2. Know thyself. Monitor your brands, your employees, your trademarks/copyrights, secrets, slogans/campaigns. Get more at http://gri.ms/KUVW.
  3. Start off with FREE tools.  Why? There may not be much to monitor yet. It also allows you to try tools out before you commit to one. Some good free tools include: Google Alerts, Social Mention and Trackur’s free version.
  4. Roll up your sleeves.  Do it yourself first so that you can understand what your true needs are before you outsource it. What are your weaknesses? What is your share of voice?
  5. Don’t silo the information.  Share the knowledge. Who needs to know about certain information and who is responsible for responding or using the information? Consider community managers — they can know who the best person is to contact with certain information. Then give those community managers access — involve them in meetings.
  6. Commit to act. Don’t just address the symptom, fix the cause. Make your company better because of it. Train your employees by educating employees about areas that need work. Engage with customers too. Actively listen.
So Andy decided to give us some homework:
  1. Make a list of goals.
  2. Compile keywords to monitor.
  3. Set up your free monitoring tool(s).
  4. Make a list of your needs and resources.
  5. Assign someone to do the monitoring.
  6. Establish a plan for actively listening.
Brian Chappell
Next up was Brian Chappell with Ignite Social Media, who discussed how large brands are monitoring. Brian showed an example of Walmart’s mentions in just one day, which he monitored using IceRocket. Large brands have SO many mentions, it can be difficult to see it all. So you want to be sure to obtain the most important information.
First, identify your important keywords, such as brand names, executives, important employees, products, and your competitors. Then eliminate the noise. He looks for tools that allow Boolean queries so that you can really specify various ways to spell the brand, like “walmart” and “wal mart”. Make sure you “whitelist” certain sites that are highly relevant too, but also automate whatever blacklisting you can as well, which can be done through setting up rules.  Make sure that the important information goes to the right people.
Be sure to understand your brand’s health. Brian feels (I agree) that automated sentiment analysis isn’t very good and can give you an inaccurate picture of what is really going on. Instead he recommends using feature level sentiment analysis. For instance, you’d look at mentions of “room service” if you were a hotel and understand the sentiment around price, quality, etc.
Some tools he recommended:
  • Sysomos
  • Radian6
  • Buzzmetrics
  • Alterian SM2
  • Converseon
  • Cymfony
  • Visible Technologies
He also recommended hiring a social API engineer and build an internal tool. The cost of tools are really expensive, and you may just want to create your own personal tool for that same cost.
He stressed though that it’s not all about the tools. You can’t afford to fully automate monitoring… you need people involved too! Revisit often and take actionable steps.
The goal? Improve your products, customer service pipeline, establish a unique selling point and mitigate brand damage. It’s like a huge focus group!
Rhea Drysdale
Rhea Drysdale of Outspoken Media wrapped up the panel by sharing a case study. Rhea focused on strategy of ORM. They had a client that knew that the DOJ was going to be putting out a press release regarding a verdict coming out that was negative for the client.
Most importantly, know where the threat is appearing (for instance, is it appearing in Google)? Check the autocomplete in Google. The factors to determine the terms that appear in the Google autocomplete include: web history, IP address, freshness, relative number of queries and content.
They also had to deal with other major news organizations who would have news results showing in Google because of the freshness factor. They got the name of individual reporters and monitored those reporters. They also found who the beat reporters might be. They checked out industry-specific reporters too. They also had to worry about state attorneys general putting out press releases, class action attorneys, a movie release around the same subject, and local media. They had to worry about bloggers, scapers and news aggregates too.
They then inventoried the assets that they had. In looking at what still sticks with past client projects, domains (.com) sticks best. Others included:
  • LinkedIn
  • Industry
  • Wikipedia
  • Facebook
You need to have a response action in place. She shared this flow chart for blog assessment from the Air Force. You need to define the response plan BEFORE there’s an emergency.

Air Force Blog Assessment

Remember, short term may look awful, but long term will get better. Set up your team and tools. Involve:
  • PR
  • HR
  • Marketing
  • Executive team
  • ORM
Use a monitoring tool that’s best for your needs. Multiple tools can help ensure you capture more. Filter out noise. Create alerts around words like “scam”, “fraud”, “lawsuit”, etc. Adjust your strategy as needed.
So in the end, the client absorbed the impact well in search.

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