There are a number of excellent services where businesses and individuals can get news alerts, however my new favorite is Yahoo Alerts, as they will also notify you via text message on your mobile phone. These services are wonderful for small businesses or anyone that needs to keep track of their online reputation and what others are saying about their business or their products.
Yahoo’s free notification service is one of the few that provides text messages as a standard free feature, in addition to giving you the option of receiving them via email and messenger. Many online businesses these days are run from home, some are family operations, and they are commonly multi-channel operations that combine online and offline stores. These types of businesses can benefit the most from alert services since they are least likely to be able to afford a publicity department, or have the necessary time to do the research themselves.
I have setup SMS (short message service or text messages) alerts for my name, my business partner’s name, and several of our products and websites. The goal is not just to know what others might be saying about you and your products, whether it be good or bad, but to be able to counter any disparaging online remarks, or inaccurate information, as quickly as possible.
You can’t control what others may say about you online, and really you don’t want to because even negative remarks can give you a chance to promote your business. Say someone complains about your customer service in a local bulletin board online. Yahoo Alerts could notify you of that within hours of the post. Now, instead of attempting to have the disparaging remarks removed, you could use it as an opportunity to respond to the post with one of your own that offers to fix the complainant’s problem. Thank them for the opportunity to make them happy and suggest that if they have any future issues they might consider contacting your company directly first. This will allow you to show the world that you take customer service seriously and will greatly improve your online reputation.