With the digital platform being used for different purposes to fulfil different agendas, it is crucial for a brand to be in charge of its online presence by proactively influencing how people perceive the brand. This is so because it is very easy for online reputation to have a lasting negative effect on a business if not well monitored and managed.
Negative reviews and derogatory talk about a brand on the internet can affect the profit margins of any thriving company and losses will be uncountable. Due to the increasing use of social platforms and smartphones, it is especially important that you become aware of online brand management so that you may be in a position to detect any negative activities going on in regard to your brand.
It could be that someone is intending to harm your business by spreading malicious information concerning your services and products. Your brand could also be losing grip on its target group in the market. All these are possible things that could happen to your brand and as a result you need to acquire basic skills in research and monitoring of your brand.
How to Monitor Your Brand Online
Before you can fully launch into monitoring your brand, you need to come up with a suitable plan of action. This plan of action will guide you throughout the whole process of managing your image on the internet.
It does not stop at monitoring alone. There has to be a plan of action to be executed after gathering enough information about your brand through monitoring. Without this plan of action, it would be useless to start monitoring your brand on the internet. It could be just a waste of time and energy.
You can monitor your brand online through various ways with one of them being the use of Google alerts. When you go ahead and create an account on Google alert, you will be able to monitor searches based on your keywords and mentions of your company or brand. Being a basic process, this may not stand out as the most efficient method of tracking your brand on the internet. The reason as to why the method is not the most efficient is because it doesn’t touch on the nitty gritty details of the keyword searches or brand mentions. It simply doesn’t break down the information for you to digest.
Despite automation being a useful technology, we cannot entirely rely on it as a perfect way of monitoring brands online. Nothing beats the human monitoring skills. A human is able to rationally determine whether a keyword was used in a relevant manner or not while a technology cannot do that with effectiveness.
Keeps track of blog responses and those blogs that have linked their content to your own blog. All you need to do is to use Technorati to perform a search of your brand then subscribe to notifications.
This tool is useful for tracking comments made on any blog. You can use it to track your previous comments on blogs.
Discussion forums or boards are common places for interactions among many people some of whom are potential clients. Therefore, you need to use this tracker to keep track of what is being said about your brand in those forums.
You can use the search bar on Twitter find out whether there are any mentions of your brand’s name and make a decision whether to retweet them or not.
What next after monitoring?
Monitoring of your brand on the internet is the first step toward improving your brand’s reputation online by bettering your service provision. It is therefore no the end but the beginning of a great brand’s image.
The step that follows requires you to take action based on your findings on the internet. You will have to come up with a strategy of weeding off negative reviews and also improving your services to match the needs and desires of your esteemed clients. This process of weeding off derogatory remarks about your brand is called brand management. Below are ways of managing your brand on the internet.
Hire a brand manager
Brand managers are known for their ability to effectively manage your company’s reputation. A brand manager will help you address the issue of negative reviews by responding to them or even removing them from your pages.
Be cautious of your conduct online
There is always an urge to comment on almost anything and everything that draws our attention. For you to maintain a good reputation of your brand on the internet you need to keep away from commenting and sharing some content that doesn’t add value to your brand.
More particularly, you need to stay away from engaging in any sensitive topics and focus on providing your clients with valuable content. Topics that touch on politics, religion and gender sensitive issues should be avoided at all cost.
Keep impressing your audience
Do you remember the last time you read a boring post? How was the experience? I guess you didn’t even spend 2 minutes of your time on it. That is exactly the same with your target audience. People love reading and interacting with content that is captivating and not boring.
For the sake of your audience, ensure that you keep producing both educative and entertaining content. This will guarantee you a committed audience.
Keep your emotions under control
We cannot overlook the fact that we are relational beings and at times we go through touch emotional situations. Knowing this, you need to avoid venting your negative emotions on the internet as it will negatively impact your brand.
People are always going to misinterpret your emotions because they don’t know you on a personal level. They as a result avoid buying from you and losses are incurred by your brand.
Respond to both positive and negative comments
When you continuously manage your brand you realise that there is always some level of dissatisfaction expressed by some customers.
Don’t make it your habit to ignore negative comments while you continue to respond to the positive ones. Appreciate the satisfied client and encourage them to come back while at the same time you should apologize to the unhappy customer and promise not to repeat your mistakes. This builds your credibility on the internet.
Seek the service of an SEO expert
Your brand needs to be easily accessible to those in need of your services. To achieve this there is need for good ranking on search engine results. For this reason, hiring an SEO expert will come in handy as he/she will improve the rank position of your website and content on search results.
Encourage clients to leave reviews
Reviews act as way of building trust in your services on the internet. Before customers can pay for your services, they always perform a search of your brand and read reviews concerning your services.
When they find many positive reviews regarding your services and products they are highly likely to buy from you. It is therefore going to serve the interests of your brand if you remind your clients to leave reviews after a service.
Improve the quality of your content
Value attracts value. If you commit yourself to producing high quality content for your clients you will see an increase in the interactions and reactions on your posts.
This will also translate into more sales and new clients. When your content is of low quality you risk losing your clients and profits.
Express genuine concern
When people comment on your social media posts it is always good to respond to them in a natural voice that shows you really care about their interests.
Do not respond to every message with the same automated response. This shows that you don’t really care about your audience and it could cost you a lot. Using automated responses for every enquiry or complaint makes you sound like a robot and not human.
Custom responses for every comment is always the best way to go about responding to your clients’ concerns.
Post quality content frequently
When it comes to maintaining a good reputation online, quality content is a very vital asset for your brand. You do not want to find yourself in a situation where you are no longer providing value to your audience. This is a very bad place to be in.
Never publish plagiarised content on your platforms; whether on social media or your website. Always strive to deliver original content to your audience and as a result your following will keep increasing and more sales will be coming your way.
Google doesn’t like plagiarism and whenever your content is flagged for plagiarism, your website ranking is decreased. It’s pushed to the bottom of search results where no one will easily access it. You end up losing audience and making losses.
Why should you monitor your brand on the internet?
Keeping track of your brand online is an excellent way of finding out what people think of you and your services. The importance of knowing how your brand is perceived by your target market can never be overemphasized.
It is through monitoring that you can know whether people are happy with your services or not. With this kind of information you can improve your services or delivery method so as to satisfy your audience.
It is through brand monitoring that you can stay competitive in the market. This is because you are able to keep track of keyword searches and improve on your content optimization on a frequent basis. Keeping up to date with emerging trends gives you a competitive edge in the industry.
Informed decision making
At the centre of developing a brand lies the ability to make right and informed decisions. Monitoring your brand gives you all the information you need to develop your brand.
Knowing and understand your target audience
When you monitor your brand on social media platforms you get to know the needs of your audience better and you also understand what kind of an audience it is in much better way.
This information can help you tailor your services in such a way that they suit the needs of your audience in a good manner. Through interaction with them on comment sections you get to know them in a better way.
Taking charge of your image online
It is through internet brand monitoring that you can track whatever is being said in relation to your brand. On social platform you can observe negative remarks and weed them out.
This way you can maintain a positive online reputation.Failure to address any negative feedback would cost you a fortune.
Regardless of whether you pay attention or not, people are always going to talk about your brand and services on the internet. Paying attention to what is being said about your brand is one of the best thing you can ever do for the brand.
Today, every businessperson is more concerned about the reputation of their brand than the sales they are making for the simple reason that without a good reputation you cannot survive in the competitive market.
As a result, they have taken time to analyse their strong areas and their weak areas so as to work on both and improve brand perception both online and offline. You should do the same thing so as to successfully manage your reputation on the internet.