Nowadays, the growth of social media sites (81% of Australians use them, when last surveyed) has meant that more and more people are talking, writing and uploading video online. They may be talking about your Business and your products or your market in general.
The truth is that your brand isn’t what you say it is – your brand is what your customers say it is – and they are saying it online.
There are ways to monitor these comments so that you can adjust your business accordingly. If you choose to do this and engage in the conversation then you will gain credibility and show that you take your customers seriously. With things moving so quickly these days it’s easy to be caught off guard and begin to lag behind your competitors, especially if they have the flexibility and fleet of foot to react quicker than you.
Proactive Brand Management
– press releases
– creating social media real estate and engaging with customers and prospects – if people are going to talk about you online then why not give them a focal place to do so that you have some control over.
– ‘owning your own space’ – having your content, websites and messages returned in search engine results for your business
– actively seeking positive reviews and comments from customers on popular directory listings and review sites
– having a Social Media policy in place for your business http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php
– real time monitoring and alerting systems to let you know when your brand, products or competitors are mentioned
– decision on how to handle events
– Ignore – let the comment, review or mention go unanswered so as not to provide additional exposure or add fuel to it but keep monitoring the situation.
– Respond – look for a positive customer service opportunity and respond promptly to problems or issues. Done well this may win you a customer for life and if done publicly then others will see how you handled the situation. Like wise if you handle it poorly people will also see so this must be done with some thought.
– Bury – if the situation calls for it then you may have to attempt to bury the news by generating sufficient ‘good news’ and syndicating this strategically online so that your content is shown in search engines pushing down the adverse results from the first pages(essentially burying it from searchers). This isn’t something that you would generally try to do yourself.
Have You Heard of Google Alerts, Social Mention, Viral Heat?
Sites like Google Alerts, Social Mention and Viral Heat provide real-time monitoring of particular markets and social media sites – there is up-to-date information on new businesses, products and services in your local area that may affect your own.
It’s not just the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube that are providing forums for people comparing businesses and products. A whole host of these other sites are cropping up, many of which will become more and more popular, opening up possibilities for small business to use them to enhance their online marketing strategies and to stay ahead of the rest. The time to realise that and act upon it is now. It may give your business the edge.
Boost your Reputation with Redcliffe Marketing Labs
The online reputation consultants at Redcliffe Marketing Labs are experts in the field of social media and online marketing. We can help you implement a system to monitor customer comments, training your staff to set up a proactive Customer Service arm that uses the information out there to help you adjust your products and services to keep up with changing perceptions. This will be an effort that is visible and evident to online users who will you see you taking an active role to improve, thereby gaining your business respect and credibility in the market.
A free online reputation consultation is available now by emailing [email protected]