Reputation management technology: 2009 and 2010

Dave Chaffey, a renowned email marketing (as I write this, his book ‘Total E-mail Marketing’ is staring me in the face and he wrote many other books since), online brand reputation and social marketing blogger and expert, has created with some help a defining post on not only online brand reputation management but the tools you can use today to get started.

With help from a study by Michael Brewer of Clerestorey, Chaffey recently posted a comprehensive directory of the leading tools to support businesses in this highly important niche field. It goes over where we were in 2009, and where we’re going to be in the  year 2010 and beyond.

So what are the tools you need to know about? You may want to look to the study itself, found HERE, and see for yourself.  Here a quick breakdown.

Reputation management tools come in several forms: listening platforms, reputation or online management tools, brand defense tools, social media monitoring or buzz tracking software, and consumer generated media (CGM) tracking. These are competitive ways to build brand reputation, but even deeper are the categories and the companies noted.

Category 1 is wide scope monitoring tools. Included here are several companies, including Radian6. Radian6 is positions itself as a social media monitoring platform for marketing, communications, and customer support. What you pay is tied to results. The analysis itself is bases on sentiment, engagement, inbound links, vote count, or comment counts. It uses a flexible dashboard with as-it-happens alerts for monitoring all forms of social media and related comments. You can filter these results by country,  by source, and by media type.

While category 1 has many more options for companies with unique and dynamic services, let’s move onto one example of category 2 for brand reputation management.

Category 2 is blog based, with the focus on monitoring customers or commentators. Nielsen Blogpulse is one big contender, with blog tracking for individuals, bloggers, and companies. It’s based on searches by link, keyword, phrases, boolean query, and date range.

Category 3 is PR and media management toools for assessing opinion forming influence. Reputica is one player here; powered by iFeed, it’s a discovery and aggregation engine for social media.

Category 4 is social media tracking with some free tools. This forms of social reputation management features a diverse range of companies, including Converseon, Who’s Talkin, Social Mention, Trackur, Viralheat, and Netbase Consumer Insights. Who’s Talkin is one of the many free tools in this category with a focus on monitoring presence in social media conversations.

Category 5 is for fraud protection, security, and threat detection. This category includes 5 listed reputation management tools, including Filtrbox, a news tracking system. KnowEm is another of note, designed for brand protection and security.

Category 6 is news media tracking. This is one of the least represented in the study, with only two companies of note, Newssift and NewsLive. Newslive bills itself as “Completely automated digital service plus all the benefits of a traditional, tried-and-tested manual clippings agency.”

Lastly, Category 7 goes over social media within sales management. It includes only one company, Inside View, and focuses more on  identifying B2B prospects.

What should we expect in social reputation management for 2010?

There are some insights  in the Chaffey article, including the capability for image, video, logo, and photo tracking, integration of workflow, and direct intervention in dialogue.

All said, reputation management is going to advance in numerous ways as more companies take an active interest in online brand management.

Check out the list of tools per category on Dave’s blog here.

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