An instant is all it takes to threaten your business's sterling reputation online. You might have had an off day or the misfortune of dealing with an ornery customer, but it's almost inevitable that you'll come face to face with a negative online review at some point in your career.
But, as Adrienne Weissman, CMO at G2 Crowd, recently pointed out, negative reviews aren't all bad. Some 70% of Americans read reviews before making a purchase, and those who seek out negative reviews tend to be more engaged and are 67% more likely to make a purchase. Plus, 68% of people trust a company more when their reviews are a mix of good and bad.
Of course, the key to making the best of a bad review lies largely in your response. That means you need to be able to find reviews (both good and bad) as they pop up. That's definitely more social media monitoring than one person can handle...
And that's where reputation management tools come in.
The following five reputation management tools are some of the best on the market for tracking mentions, discovering influencers, and managing online reviews as they happen.
When you can't have eyes and ears everywhere at once, Awario's the next best thing. This software features nonstop monitoring of important keywords across 13 billion Web pages, including every major social media platform. That means you're instantly tapped into the most important conversations about your brand, no matter where in the world they're taking place.
Awario's starter plan lets you track 50,000 mentions per month and gives you access to in-depth analytics that will help you identify key influencers so that you can expand your reach. The more robust plans give you extra features, including tracking for up to 500,000 mentions per month (enterprise plan) and the ability export your analytics for colleagues and clients (pro + enterprise plan).
Price: Starts at $19/month.
Free trial: Yes, you can try Awario's Starter plan free for 14 days.
Grade.us helps reviews work in your favor by making it easy for your satisfied customers to find and review your business. This software lets you easily target both positive and negative feedback across all major, minor, and industry-specific review sites.
What sets Grade.us apart is its intuitive "review funnel" system. Most of your happy customers don't leave you a review, but the review funnel encourages more positive feedback by making the review process painless.
The review funnel unobtrusively reminds your customers to review your services on the websites you care most about. It guides them through each step and lets them log in from their favorite social media platforms, removing the tedium of creating a new account. And, if a customer gives a negative review, you get instant feedback—meaning you can respond in a timely fashion, gaining a second chance at a good impression.
Price: Starts at $70/month (or $59/month if billed annually).
Free trial: Yes, you can use its Agency plan software (retail value $250/month) free for 30 days.
Review Trackers also shows you all of your customer reviews in one centralized dashboard. This software automatically tracks 50+ of the biggest review websites, including Yelp, Google, Facebook, Foursquare, and OpenTable. Best of all, it's been optimized for mobile so that you can see your new reviews on any platform, in real time.
Like the other platforms listed here, Review Trackers will send you email notifications whenever your brand's being mentioned, and it includes a reporting and analytics suite to help you hone your future brand-building. Review Trackers also integrates seamlessly with Hootsuite—making it an apt accompaniment to the software you may already rely on.
Price: Starts at $49/month.
Free trial: Yes, you can either request a demo or get a free trial of the software.
Reputology offers a lot of flexibility for its low starting price. Its package for a single location includes daily review monitoring, email alerts, analytics and reporting, responsive support options, and Hootsuite integration. Upgrading to a multi-location plan will give you unlimited users, workflow management tools, custom alerts, summary reports, and more.
Reputology is perhaps less well known than some of the other software offerings on this list, but it's great for identifying key engagement points on all of the major review sites. Its comprehensive review monitoring and text analytics will also help you discover the reasons behind compliments and complaints, allowing you to continue your good work or make adjustments as necessary.
Price: Starts at $25/month (if billed annually).
Free trial: Yes, it lets you schedule a demo or download a free trial.
Yotpo is simultaneously the most stripped down and the most feature-packed software on this list, depending on the version you go for.
On the one hand, its Lite plan is simple, allowing you to generate review request emails and automatically sending out review requests after a purchase. It also lets you create a customizable product review widget on your website. This plan is free to use.
On the other hand, if you can afford the steeper price tag on its Pro plan, Yotpo offers a wide variety of solutions that will tie into every aspect of your marketing. On-site, you'll be able to display promoted products, star ratings, review carousels, and review badges. You can showcase reviews through social media and email campaigns. You can make your positive reviews bolster your SEO through rich snippets and Google seller ratings. You can even encourage customer retention by commenting on reviews and rewarding loyal customers with coupons.
All of that added utility comes at a price, however. The paid version is bursting with features, but the free version is a significantly stark offering compared with the other software on this list.
Price: Free (Lite) or $399 (Pro)
Free trial: Yes, Yotpo Lite is free forever, but you can also try free demos of the Pro, Powerhouse+, and Enterprise versions of the software.
Choosing the Tool That's Right for You
Every minute of every day, your reputation is on the line. Review sites influence consumer behavior daily, and unless you're superhuman you won't be able to keep up with every piece of press that finds its way onto review sites.
Thankfully, reputation management tools free you from having to scour social media 24/7 for mentions of your brand. They allow you to collect every mention of your brand—both good and bad—in one location, so that you never lose touch with what your customers are saying. Which tool you choose depends on your specific needs, so be sure to try out all of the free trials to find the tool that suits you.
Keeping tabs on feedback isn't just about intercepting bad reviews as they spring up online, however. Interacting with your happy customers, and encouraging more glowing reviews in the future, is just as important.
Every time you get a review, consider it actionable advice. Responding to everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly—is important for healthy business growth.