Small business tips for tracking your online reputation

Business owners can address the challenge of reputation management by employing brand monitoring tools. Here, Yana Yelina reviews some of them.

The internet is a useful and at the same time dangerous thing, especially if we are talking about running an online business. It’s well known that the consumers of your product or service become so-called creators of your company’s online reputation by analysing your behaviour and leaving opinions that, in turn, may work in your favour or against you. Clients’ reviews will either drum up or damage your business; as potential purchasers pay great attention to the experience and reviews of those who have already had a chance to make use of your goods.

To prove that, let’s provide some reliable statistics by Search Engine Land:

1) 88 per cent of customers have a desire to look through reviews to have a clear picture on the issue
2) About 90 per cent of them are influenced by users’ opinions while making a final decision on purchasing something
3) Another 88 per cent place their trust in online comments as if those opinions were personal recommendations.

Beyond that, according to a Reevoo survey, positive reviews impact 90 per cent of potential clients, which results in an 18 per cent rise in sales for the company.

Some opinions can be left on obscure or unimportant websites, but it’s mindless to underestimate their influence, because a smart search query will reveal any review. Taking into account this fact, many years ago any company would engage a PR or marketing agency to track company’s mentions (positive, neutral, or negative).

But with the development of modern technologies many business owners prefer to address the challenge by employing brand monitoring tools (Twitter, Google, and Bing Search, Google Alerts, Trackur, MonitorThis) and online reputation management software, concentrating on linguistics tools to collect and analyse data from e-media, social networks feeds, forums, and feedback websites. Such software can be also used to conduct an insider analysis of employees’ opinions within the company.

The solutions

What are those possible solutions and how can such tools based on linguistic APIs automate the process, easily track negative opinions, and timely manage them?

1. Opinion Analyzer is able to extract emotionally-coloured phrases and define mood and preferences of your target audience, to show what they think of a specific product, be it a laptop or a mobile phone, or a service, for instance, if we mean a restaurant or a hotel.

Business owners get relevant info via automatic reports with the indication of strengths and weaknesses of the analysed object and its popularity rating. Furthermore, linguistic tools enable a comparison of users’ reviews by different parameters.

2. Named Entity Recognizer is another tool to search and analyse relevant data. With the help of machine learning algorithms this tool extracts personal and organisations’ names, geographical locations, positions/occupations, nationalities, dates, ages, durations, and events. So, be sure to get an extensive report on mentioning your company/CEO/location on the internet. Such an instrument is useful for businesses of any kinds and sizes.

Named Entity Recognizer can be employed not only for reputation management, but for tracking your main rivals’ actions. Moreover, it won’t be excessive in the sphere of information security for tracing suspect activities in different channels of communication, including social networks.

The data source can be also represented by any textual document (CVs, articles, news, etc.). This tool is highly efficient for carrying out a dynamic analysis of news feeds, as it allows to store structured data.

3. Categorizer may become another indispensable tool for businesses owners, especially for those who run an e-shop with great amounts of goods, displayed on different online stores (featuring various brands).

You can use Categorizer to create a range of categories and analyse the related information. Thus, you will have an opportunity to chase reviews not only by using the classification ‘negative/positive’, but also by forming goods classifications to receive the needed info on a certain brand you run.

This tool is also the right one for tracking and evaluating new trends in business, science, and technology. So, it will help you keep up with fresh ideas for your business to boost activities, gain present clients’ confidence, and entice new customers.

Managing your reputation internally

Outside users’ opinions is not the only method of implementing the above-mentioned linguistic tools. Sometimes, the internal reputation (especially that of a corporation with an array of branches) steps forward. To manage your inside reputation among employees, you can integrate linguistic tools in corporate CRM, websites, blogs, and forums, facilitating HR managers’ lives in getting useful info and assessing reviews on working conditions, attitude towards the top management, company’s products and services, etc.

Alongside with the integration of modern software for managing your company’s reputation, remember to catch users’ interest and win their trust with some other simple activities:

– Social media usage: don’t ignore your accounts. According to this research there are 2.3 billion active social media users and 1 million new active social users are added every day. That’s why try to boost activities not only in blogs, forums or on your own website, but in social media, where it’s much easier to create discussions and touch upon captivating topics. What is more, thanks to social networks you will be able to relish additional relevant and instant feedback.

– Quality content creation: don’t grudge money on copywriters who will deal with composing interesting and useful articles and press-releases, associated with your business, clients, products, solutions, challenges, and more. It can be not just a plain text, but videos, photos, podcasts, e-books, infographics, and newsletters. You can also use these means as free advertising.

– Guest blogging: in addition to the first tip, grant such an option to your clients, partners, experts who will share personal experience in your business blog.


It’s not so easy to establish a good reputation, but businessmen have a chance to gain advantage out of many handy tips, including those ones covered in the article. The key is to never forget about customer reviews, to track them and manage unpleasant situations (without deleting negative comments). Only by doing that you will have a possibility to make your business grow.

Further reading on marketing

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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