No news is good news’ is not so true, though it is a nice thought. Because bad news has not yet reached a business owner or manager does not mean that it is not rampant in the market. People no longer wait for the 5 o’clock news to get ‘the latest’. With apps on a smartphone and social media, there is ‘instant’ news and word-of-mouth via a few clicks. ‘They’ are ‘talking’ more than ever, at the speed of the Internet.
While it makes sense to keep stress low and avoid news, media noise and any potential negative reviews… a lack of awareness can lead to missed opportunities (or to a failing business).
For instance, this is from a Miami Herald article. Since then the original post has been taken down. But not before it was shared more than 10,000 times and the video of the flooding corridor had been watched more than 1.3 million times:
Um....FB folks.... this is a rare moment of internet connection ....we are flooding on a cruise, we heard the violins and the silverware all came crashing down.
When a malfunction caused flooding on a Carnival Cruise ship during a Caribbean voyage, a passenger's video went viral on Facebook.
Another example is what happened on April 12, when police led two young black men away in handcuffs from a Philadelphia Starbucks. While a video of the disturbing incident went viral and community protests mounted, Starbucks' CEO Kevin Johnson was faced with the challenge of handling the crisis, including dealing with the damage the incident did both to the victims and to the company's image. As part of a crisis response, he had to make a rapid assessment of the situation, find the right words for a public apology and take remedial action.
This Forbes article also shared an opinion about how the CEO ‘… did a good job’ and goes on to share other scenarios that damage control was needed because of what ‘they’ say via the Internet.
Here are six ways you can get alerts about your company, brand or products delivered to your email:
Using Google Alerts, small business owners and even sales professionals can receive alerts about their company or even their own name if it appears on the internet. Individual searches with the company’s name in quotes, to restrict all other search returns, are another way to discover any negative reviews or comments. Note that membership groups such as Facebook will not be part of these search returns and require individual monitoring.
You can use Google Alerts to:
Anewstip is a media search, monitoring, and relationship management platform. Their database helps entrepreneurs, PR professionals and marketers connect with relevant media.
Anewstip Search lets you search for relevant media contacts by what they have written or tweeted. Anewstip Database indexes more than 200 million news articles and 1 billion tweets from more than 1 million media contacts. Anewstip Alerts lets you monitor news articles and tweets related to your brand, competitors, or any other keywords.
Email alerts are delivered to your inbox whenever there are new results, so you can keep up with what’s happening and discover new media contacts.
Brand24 helps you to discover what people are saying online about your brand - as it unfolds in real time. Brand24 gives you instant access to mentions about your brand across the web, from social networks to influential publishers.
As with other monitoring tools, it is not limited to just your brand or company. Keep an eye on your competition so you can always be at least one step ahead. Learn their strengths and weaknesses and use that knowledge to grow your business.
The Mentions Feed lets you discover who is talking about your brand. You can respond to them directly from the app. If you’re getting a lot of mentions, then you can add filters, so you focus on the important mentions by source, sentiment, visits, etc.
Awario.com monitors all corners of the web including social media. Each day it crawls over 13 billion web pages, so it can provide you with instant mentions. Awario also has a useful ‘Reach’ filter so you can sort by the most important mentions and respond to those first. You can set up your search terms by using keywords that you wish to include and exclude, so only the relevant mentions are captured. Awario has its own analytics dashboard so you can track your progress, and is also available as a mobile app.
Mention.com makes it possible for you to easily monitor over 1 billion sources daily including social media, forums, blogs, and the rest of the web. Boolean alerts help you to zero in on your brand, competitors, and customers for precise market research.
You can run an online search or choose to receive a daily email of your mentions from the previous day. You can also export stats to PDF or CSV, to analyze and share the data.
Reputology is a review management and monitoring platform.
Listen ‘everywhere’ - Google, Facebook, industry-specific review sites, online surveys, feedback forms & more. Monitor everything your customers are saying about your organization, from one easy-to-use interface.
Keep tabs on how your team is following up on reviews with workflow tools. Reputology makes review management a streamlined process by converting your reviews into customer service tickets.
Gather all feedback into one place with customizable forms. A holistic view of the customer experience will help your team manage issues more efficiently and make more educated decisions.
Reputology’s fully automated, around-the-clock review tracking platform monitors reviews on all the important sites as well as industry-specific ones important to your business. Reputology makes managing reviews across multiple locations simple, and you can customize the dashboard view to suit local operators, the head office and anyone in between.
These tools can deliver new alerts but don’t forget a process is needed to know who will review the alerts, who as the responsibility (and authority) to take action. Developing a company culture of ‘service and transparency’ vs ‘hide and resist’ will offer more opportunity for positive results such as the one Carnival Cruise had. When people began to ‘talk’ via photos and videos on social media, they were alert and ready. Though you may not have a sinking ship, you have the same opportunity to be alerted when people ‘talk’ about your company and brand.
The incidents that come up in social media are rather surprising and at times almost unbelievable. “That would never happen to us.” is an easy conclusion to make. Even so, a simple alert system will give your team more assurance and potentially head off a crisis.
By monitoring ‘outside’ events your business will be better equipped to ensure that your accounting reports reflect success.
If you are reviewing your monthly accounting reports and they are providing financial information but not the kind of information needed to understand trends and patterns in your business, you may be having a ‘leak’ of revenue or losses. We can help you create better reports which will help you know which questions to ask of your customers. Contact Eric Moore today for your free consultation.
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