An important element of establishing a strong online brand is tracking of what is being mentioned about it across the web at all times. Tracking and monitoring of a brand has many benefits. It could provide valuable feedback about one’s product or service, and this type of feedback can point to what a business is doing wrong and help in making adjustments in an attempt to build a stronger customer base. It is also important to monitor any mentions of a brand online as some of them may become negative at one point resulting in an online reputation problem.
We have often highlighted the advantages of Google Alerts, with the most obvious advantages being that the service is free and simple to set up. A number of premium services out there offer meticulous monitoring services that offer quite a bit of features that Google Alerts does not cover. The question is whether these services are worth the money spent, and how they are different from one another. We decided to review 2 online monitoring services: Trackur and BrandsEye.
Tarckur is the first tool that we examined. One important feature that it offers that Google Alerts does not have is filtering., This enables the user to exclude specific domains from the online search it conducts for tracked terms. This is a valuable feature since it allows the person conducting the search the exclusion of websites that are controlled by that business, essentially reducing the results that he or she would have to go through. The user can also filter out certain keyword. For example, an alert can be set up for “Michael Jordan” that has to include the term “shoes” and exclude the term “Golf” allowing for a more specific tracking of what is being said online. This feature would help a large company that has a number of different products and wishes to track only mentions of the brand within a specific context.
BrandsEye, another online monitoring and tracking service, offers three packages each allowing the user to track a certain amount of phrases and receive updates in specified increments of time. Their tracking system does a lot of the filtering for the client as it automatically removes duplicate content and spam from its findings.
The BrandsEye system allows its users to “educate” the tracking system on what is important to them. It enables the user to customize the tracking so that each mention could have a different ranking on significance based on author’s name, origin, credibility and sentiment of the over all mention. These are all advanced features that would most likely only be useful for large companies.
Both BrandsEye and Trackur are solid tools that offer more than Google Alerts does. While we agree that a professional or a business should be proactive in monitoring what is being said about him, her or it online, we feel that Google Alerts is a solid tool that is effective enough to monitor a personal brand or a small company. A large company that has a number of products and generates hundreds of mentions each day online could benefit from premium monitoring of its brand.