How to monitor your online reputation for free

With Australians spending an increasing amount of time on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, businesses large and small are under pressure to enter this space. Before you launch or engage an agency for a social media strategy do consider if your business has the resources and internal commitment to make it work. What you must do in 2011, is start ‘listening’ to the current buzz in your industry and about your brand.

Here are 10 highly regarded free tools that can be easily set up:

  1. Google Alerts: Set up daily or real-time alerts to be emailed to you when a specific keyword is mentioned.
  2. HowSociable: Shows your brands visibility across all major social destinations on an interactive screen layout
  3. BlogPulse: A free blog monitoring service from Nielsen BuzzMetrics that helps plot and analyze trends
  4. Twitter Search: Use the Advanced Search option to find out what Twitter users are saying in real-time
  5. TweetDeck: Perform real-time searches for queries that are then displayed in wide panes for easy viewing
  6. Keotag: Allows you to search for keywords (used as content tags) on mainstream social websites
  7. Boardtracker: Useful for tracking conversations happening on discussion boards/forums.
  8. Trackur: Created by online reputation expert Andy Beal, this is one of the better tools around.
  9. Addictomatic: Uses moveable widgets to quickly display what people are saying about your brand.
  10. Socialmention: Aggregates relevant content from 100+ social properties into a single easy to view page

Remember the above free options are no match for paid options like Radian6 that your Agency may recommend but will enable you to listen for free before you jump in.