No matter how big or small your company, monitoring your brand online is an essential task that must be done on a regular basis.  With the prevalence of social media, it’s far too easy for one person’s bad experience to go viral.  Watching for and correcting these issues is the only way to ensure your brand remains in a positive light.

There are many tools out there to assist you with monitoring your brand, and most of them are free.

The easiest tool to use is Google.  You can set up a Google Alert (sent right to your email) that searches regularly for whatever you want – in this case, your best bet would be your brand name.  You can also refine it to just send you news, video, discussions, blogs, etc.

Another great tool is Twitter – using the Twitter search, you can monitor your name, your company’s name, or even your competitors, and have the results fed into an RSS reader for your convenience.  And since Twitter posts are so rapid, you may want to use TweetDeck or HootSuite to keep a closer eye on things.

While not free, Trackur is an excellent tool for small business to keep tabs on social media.  You can “monitor your reputation, your news mentions, your PR campaigns, your employees, or your competition. Trackur’s social media monitoring tools are easy to use, yet offer a surprising number of features.”  With plans starting at just $27 a month, any small business can easily afford to sign up.

If your business is booming and you’ve got a little more to spend, try out UberVu.  Their dashboard monitors and analyzes mentions on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and more.  You can also perform a “sentiment analysis” to find out what the general feeling is towards your brand, and you can even use UberVu to compare your brand to your competitors.

These are just a few tools that are available for monitoring your brand online – more in-depth research may uncover something perfect for your organization.

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