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Quickview: Monitor Your Online Reputation

People can leave comments about you just about anywhere online. Do you know what they're saying?

Bill Winterberg, 07/25/2013

Today's social Web makes it easy for anyone to leave comments and feedback about you just about anywhere. Setting up Google Alerts for your own name and your business has been a solid way to discover what others might be posting online, but Google Alerts doesn't always discover things posted to social media websites.

If you want to stay on top of what others are saying about you or your firm on the Internet, you might want to look into a tool called Mention.

What Is Mention?
Mention was created by a French startup founded in 2012 and now has more than 100,000 users. The company recently raised $800,000 in fresh capital to dethrone Google Alerts as the go-to solution to scour the Internet for content important to you.

Why You Need Mention
As stated earlier, Google Alerts generally misses a mention of your name or business on sites like Twitter or personal blogs. But Mention specifically targets social media websites like Twitter and Facebook, and extends to blogs and public forums as well.

I signed up for a free trial of Mention and was immediately surprised at what it discovered that Google Alerts did not. I programmed both tools to look for mentions of "Bill Winterberg" online. After searching my Google Alerts archive, I found about two or three mentions of my name each month generated by the tool. Mention, on the other hand, found nine uses of my name online in the first day. Five mentions were from Twitter, where people typed "Bill Winterberg" instead of my @billwinterberg profile name in their tweet. But mention also picked up uses of my name on YouTube, industry publications, financial institution websites, and vendor white papers posted online.

How Mention Works
The first step to using Mention is to set up an alert. Much like Google Alerts, an alert is the key word or phrase you want Mention to find when it searches the web for relevant matches. The more specific your key word or phrase, the higher quality matches Mention will deliver.

As Mention encounters content items that match your alerts, it posts them to an online dashboard with a link to the original content. The dashboard shows mentions chronologically, with the most recent listed first. Content matching your alerts can be sorted by their source, so you can view mentions specific to one social media site, news sources, or even in video descriptions.

Mention also offers a priority filter that, when enabled, highlights mentions from "influential people and important sources." Also, Mention features "anti-noise technology," which you can set to automatically delete mentions similar to ones you already deleted in the past. This feature is very helpful to exclude regular updates from content you post and control, like your own blog or website, for example.

Bill Winterberg, CFP, is a technology and operations consultant to independent financial advisors. His comments on technology have been featured in a variety of financial industry publications. You can view more information about Bill and see his schedule of upcoming speaking engagements at his Web site, FPPad.com. The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.

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