Managing your brand online has rapidly and rightly become commonplace among institutions and companies, but how different organizations go about it varies greatly. Listening is key when it comes to online chatter about your college or university. Whether someone is blogging about your institution or talking about it on Twitter, it is advantagous to take note of what others are saying and respond when appropriate.
There are many tools out there, some free, some not, that make the process easier. We’ve listed several notable, yet lesser-known (we assume you’re aware of Hootsuite and Klout by now) monitoring services below. If you have reactions, comments, or questions on the services below, send a tweet to @emgonline or post to our Facebook Page.
Beevolve: If what you want is a combination of monitoring and insightful analytics in an all-inclusive platform, Beevolve should be something you consider. Offering data on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and more, the service has everything you’ve come to expect from a robust monitoring tool. Real-time monitoring, the ability to compare metrics, and advanced features like sentiment analysis and text mining are a few of the features that make this tool stand out.
BoardReader: Forums and message boards are often neglected when it comes to search, and that’s where BoardReader comes to the rescue. A free, simple search, BoardReader searches forums across the web for your keywords. In our experience, search results can be a bit overwhelming so the more you can hone in on your search terms, and if possible even specific forums, the better your results will be. Give it a shot.
BrandsEye: Their bulls-eye logo is unmistakable. Used by many internationally, BrandsEye provides online reputation management that tracks information about your brand, event, campaign, or individual. The service stresses the ability to identify real-time risks and opportunities with its data. It also promotes its hefty automation principle to require the least amount of time on the user’s part. The service is not free, but the “Lite” version isn’t expensive and can give you a feel for what their premium product has to offer.
Trunk.ly: Can’t remember that important link you posted last month? If you’ve ever wanted a searchable resource of all the links you’ve posted to Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, Trunk.ly is your answer. And with Trunk.ly’s utilization of tags and descriptions, you’re also able to see others’ links if they’ve registered with Trunk.ly. While this isn’t going to be a good percentage of people, it’s still useful to see for your institution, and you can reach out to those others on Trunk.ly as well. Overall, this tool is best for searching your own links and provides a great reference for what you’ve posted in the past. We recommended trying it on either your university or personal account.
PeerIndex: Think Klout, but with more color. In the area of influence monitoring rather than social monitoring, PeerIndex is an increasingly popular free option that seeks to become, “…the standard that identifies, ranks, and scores authorities. And help social authorities benefit from the social capital they have built up.” While the intentions of PeerIndex are obviously similar to Klout’s, PeerIndex goes about presenting information in a much different way. For example, if you want to appropriately balance the topics you’re institution posts about, look closely at your topic fingerprint to understand where to make the necessary adjustments. If you’re a user of Google Chrome, try the Chrome plugin by Kynetx to see the PeerIndex score of people within your tweetstream and around the web.
* EMG does not endorse any specific tools or websites. Use at your own risk.