Word-of-mouth is not what it used to be. Just 10 years ago, upset customers or raving fans could spread their opinion about your business only to their family, friends, neighbors and work colleagues. Now, thanks to social networking and the infinite publishing power of the Web, customers can share their rants and raves instantly with a worldwide audience.
In such a connected world, your online image is everything. And if your online image is tarnished, performing the following key business functions will become much more difficult:
Now that you know why having a positive online image is so important, let’s put in place a brand-monitoring strategy to track and enhance your online image.
Begin your brand-monitoring strategy by identifying the brand phrases that you want to track. Identify the phrases that represent your company so you can monitor the positive or negative statements about them. Those brand phrases will often include the following:
Keep in mind that you are on the lookout for disgruntled employees or upset customers, so include negative modifiers such as “sucks,” “rip off,” “scam” and “fraud” with your brand phrases.
You may also want to apply a similar process for competitive intelligence purposes. If so, supplement your list of brand phrases to monitor with the following:
Once you know what brand phrases to monitor, put a monitoring process in place. Active brand-monitoring will help identify a communication crisis from its start, providing ample time to react and take action. You can do that manually by performing Google searches on a regular basis to monitor your image. But there are several monitoring tools that can make it easier: Google Alerts, Hootsuite, Twitter Search, Sprout Social, and Burrelles MYNEWSDASH, to name a few.
Once you have the right monitoring tools in place, set up a reasonable process for managing the tools that are managing your reputation. You can easily go overboard if you check on them all day long, so set aside a realistic block of time each day and stay disciplined.
The next step is to create a plan for responding to mentions and improving your online image. The following five ideas will help you get started.
A brand is a terrible thing to waste. Make sure you actively manage your online image to ensure that you effectively compete as more and more business moves online in the future.
With any questions or to schedule a free, no-obligation website analysis, please contact us.