Protecting Your Rep

Given all the social networks and blogs that make it easy to spout off, chances are, someone's talking about your company online. Here are some of the many new tools companies are using to keep tabs on competitors and scan for online customer comments. Many of the inexpensive applications are robust enough for most small businesses. Larger companies that need to exchange information among sales, marketing, and customer service departments may want to upgrade.

Google Alerts
Sends an e-mail when a specific word or phrase is used online.
Cost: Free
Reports how often keywords appear in articles and blogs.
Cost: Free to monitor one keyword; $18 to $377 a month for multiple keyword searches
Yext Rep
Tracks mentions and reviews of your business on websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, and Superpages.
Cost: Free
Visible Technologies
Supports 12 languages and lets multiple employees share reports.
Cost: $500 a month and up
Offers geo-location features that monitor online conversations by region.
Cost: $10 to $90 a month
Lets users manage social media campaigns. It integrates with, Omniture, and Webtrends.
Cost: $600 a month and up