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How to Monitor and Avoid Negative Brand Mentions Online

They say publicity of any kind is good publicity. But that’s not exactly true. Your reputation across social media and other digital channels can make all the difference to your website traffic. Eighty-eight percent of consumers value online reviews and comments as much as recommendations from friends. So any negative reviews or mentions can hamper your business.

Even from an SEO perspective, your business reputation will affect where you turn up in search results. Think of it this way: Backlinks are one of the most important factors for determining search engine rankings. Google not only checks a backlink for its authority, but also looks at sentiment. The search engine may give more value to links that attract positive or neutral mentions, and devalue negative ones.

It’s absolutely critical, then, for both your search rankings and overall reputation that you avoid negative brand mentions. But how can you do that? Let’s take a look at the best tips and tools to avoid and monitor negative brand mentions.

1. Know Your Brand

Realize and define the kind of brand you want to be. Only after you’ve defined your branding goals can you monitor if your efforts are having the desired effect. This is something you want to define early on in your business, as this will shape your brand identity.

Read Also: 7 Steps to Evolve Your Digital Marketing (Part 1)

Ask yourself key questions like, how do you want your patrons to view your brand? Do you want to be known as credible or cost-effective, or for having niche or high-quality products? Answering these questions will get you a step closer towards understanding the kind of mentions you want to avoid.

2. Engage Customers on Social Media

Most customers take to social media to complain or write about brands when they are dissatisfied with their service. It’s here where a ton of negative brand mentions are generated on a daily basis, and yet many brands struggle to identify and address complaints.

Make it a priority to pay attention to and engage your customers on social media. If you receive a negative review, take the high road and win customers over with courtesy.

Use social media to provide prompt solutions to whatever problems your customers may be facing. Starbucks, for example, provides exceptional customer service on Twitter. They strive to address any customer related issues as swiftly and effectively as they can.

starbucks positive engagement with customers
Source: Twitter


3. Check Your Present Reputation via Organic Search Results

Use search engines or review sites to see what comes up when you search for your business. You might run into articles or comments left by consumers, which offer direct insight into why your business meets or falls short of their expectations.

Look for trends in these results. For example, do negative reviews often originate from a certain location, source, or channel? Does your brand get compared to or confused with similar brands? Is there a certain audience segment that’s prone to think more highly or negatively about your company? Why?

4. Don’t Let Your Competitors Harm You

It’s important for you to carve out your own identity and reputation online, but you should also keep a watch on what your competitors are doing. How are they marketing themselves? What are their buyers saying about them?

Monitoring your competitors’ online activity can help you identify how they’re appealing to your target customers. You can also protect your brand from competitors who might try to pull your brand down with false negative mentions. There have been many instances where brands try to besmirch the image of their competitors by creating fake pages or posting fake reviews.

Analyzing your competitors’ activity (as well as mentions of them) can help you come up with marketing strategies that are different from what others are doing. You can shape your brand in a unique way. You may even be able to find customers who are dissatisfied with your competitors and are looking for replacements.

5. Source Testimonials and Feedback

To counter the effects of any negative brand mentions, you can source positive ones. Customer testimonials and reviews from prominent industry influencers can help you negate the effect of any negative comments people leave about your brand.

Consider running campaigns, such as hashtag campaigns, for collecting user-generated content around your brand. Or, incentivize top customers to film the unboxing of your product, rate your brand, or to send you thoughtful feedback.

Consumer electronics brands like OnePlus, for instance, regularly source reviews from tech experts like Marques Brownlee. Such reviews focus on both the pros and cons of your product, offering a more authentic and trustworthy perspective of your business.

oneplus 6 review by influencer marques brownlee
Source: YouTube


Additionally, you should consider ways to improve your services based on customer feedback. You’d be surprised what actionable insights you can derive. Acting upon requests will go a long way in satisfying your customers and making them feel valued, as well as invested in your success.

Monitor and Improve

Whether you address complaints or source positive user stories, the key to staying in control of your reputation is to be vigilant in monitoring what people are saying about your brand. In particular, you’ll want to track the mentions you’re receiving online–positive or negative. The tools listed below can help you diagnose and improve your online reputation.

1. Serpstat
Serpstat is different from most monitoring tools in the sense that you can use it to conduct search engine sentiment analysis too. Monitoring search queries that include your brand name is a big part of ensuring you’re ranking for the right long-tail queries.

screenshot of serpstat dashboard


2. Pro Rank Tracker
While a tool like Serpstat helps you with search queries, a tool like Pro Rank Tracker is better capable of monitoring your rankings. Whether it’s for local SEO or specific keywords, it will compliment your other reputation monitoring tools. You can respond to customers and solve their issues to improve your reputation.

screenshot of pro rank tracker


3. ReviewTrackers
ReviewTrackers is a great paid tool to monitor what your customers are saying about you. It can track online reviews from Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and hundreds of other sites.

screenshot of review trackers


4. Zoomph
Zoomph, of course, lets you monitor brand mentions, competitor activity, and audience sentiment on social media. It includes engagement tools like custom giveaways, surveys, and UGC displays that let you collect and amplify customer feedback.

sentiment analysis tool by zoomph


After Thoughts

While negative brand mentions aren’t completely unavoidable, their effects can be mitigated. It comes down to how aware you are of your online reputation and the effect it’s having on your business. These tips and tools should prove useful in maintaining your business reputation.

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