The Internet is so vast that managing your brand online may feel like you’re trying to control the universe. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and your company’s website (and I acknowledge this list is just a sampling of the places you may be active online) you give customers the chance to find information about you and tell you what they think.
Brand management matters now more than ever! According to a recent survey, 81% of respondents say online search results influence their perception about companies.
How in the world do you start to tie it all together?
We know that 46% of daily Google searches are for information on products or services, and 20% of monthly Google searches are for local businesses. That’s a lot of searching for stuff! In addition, many companies report that they are getting new customers through Facebook and 1/3 of business owners say that social media in general helps them get found online. So much information is being passed back and forth, and below you can find some tips and tricks for unifying your brand online and protecting your online reputation.
- Find out where your customers are: There are many places you can be found online, but you definitely do not need to engage in them all. Find out where your customer base prefers to hang out and focus your online marketing effort to those places. Are your customers using social media on the go? Then foursquare may help you bring in some customers. Do your customers like to share tips on your product? Set up a Facebook page and encourage information sharing.
- Wherever you go, create brand cohesion among your online spaces: Ensure that big promotions or other important news is prominently displayed within each online venue. For example, if you’re offering a contest giveaway, make sure it’s on your website’s homepage, talked about on Facebook, and linked to on Twitter. By maintaining consistency, you’ll receive stronger participation and you will show a unified front to your customers, which will help strengthen your brand recognition.
- Monitor your customer’s online conversations to understand what is being said about you: Good or bad, people are going to be talking about you online (at least, that should be your goal). But monitoring a multitude of online communities (some where you manage the content and others, like yelp.com, where users can leave comments) can be daunting. Engaging with an online reputation management firm can help you with that task. Rhino360° is a monitoring tool we use to effectively allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of online comments, by monitoring over 100 million online outlets ranging from blogs to photo sharing sites to discussion boards.
- Hire an online reputation management firm: The above tips may seem scary to attempt to conquer on your own. That’s where an online reputation management firm can come into play, like Reputation Rhino, an online reputation management company based in New York City. According to Todd William, founder, and CEO of Reputation Rhino, “we have the tools to help clients create a unique, credible, and consistent positive reputation online. And, in the event of negative feedback, we can help a business fight back to protect their brand.”