If you run a local business, chances are someone, somewhere is writing about you. They’re writing about how cool the eyewear you sell is or how awesome your handmade throw pillows look, or how friendly your customer service is.
It’s good to keep track of what’s being said about you, but doing so can be overwhelming—like going down the Internet rabbit hole. And you can lose hours of your day searching for all the places people might have mentioned your business.
To help, here’s a rundown of a few tools you can use to stay on top of online ratings and reviews.
An easy way to keep track of your online mentions is through Google Alerts. Type the name of your business into the search field and select “Create Alert.” You’ll have to give Google an email address where it can send the results and select how frequently you want results. Once this is done, whenever your business name is mentioned online you’ll know about it (with a bit of a delay), and it’s completely free and easy to use. The next time someone talks about your eyewear selection on their blog, you’ll find out about it.
Not only does Hootsuite allow you to schedule your Facebook and LinkedIn posts, Tweets, and Instagram photos in advance, it also aggregates mentions across a wide range of social media platforms and provides you with analytics and reporting. This means that when someone tweets that they bought two fantastic pairs of sunglasses at your store, you’ll be notified and then you can retweet it. Hootsuite works in real time, so there’s no delay between the time the tweet is posted and the time you learn about it—keeping you connected to your customer base at all times.
Customers turn to review sites to, well, review businesses. Even if you don’t have a profile on each of the sites, it’s a good idea to check them periodically to see what’s being said about you. You can encourage happy customers to come again or spread the word and you can respond to negative reviews to show customers you’re listening and willing to make changes. Some review sites to keep track of include Yelp, Foursquare and Google My Business. (Check out this list of the 16 we recommend.)
Connectivity offers ways to interact with customers on social media and review sites, keeping everything in one single dashboard. You can reach out to your customers for feedback using Connectivity and once you’ve seen the reviews, you can respond accordingly and encourage happy customers to share their stories, generating even more positive buzz.
Like it or not, people are going to talk about your business. By staying on top of what they’re saying, you can spread the positive words and stay ahead of the negative ones.
Olga Traskova is a Senior Manager in Marketing and Sales Operations at Connectivity.