Perhaps one the key thing that we can do with any social media platform is to monitor the engagement, interaction, and ultimately feedback from our customers and our audience. Effectively perusing interaction is a good thing as this might improve your page rank, and help to develop loyalty to your business and brand.
Don’t fall into the trap that many businesses do that it’s only using big brand terms. As much as you want to have your ear to the ground when monitoring comments about your business and your brand, it is essential that you monitor product comments or service experiences as well. Developing a strong brand presence is great but the brands foundations are the products and services that are provided. These have to be monitored as well.
Even a negative comment can be turned into a positive result provided the comment is actioned quickly and convincingly. This will show that you are prompt and willing to help.
The tools that can be used are as follows:-
A Twitter Search is a great way to get an overview of what people are saying on Twitter. The search can be filtered and tweaked to make sure that the data that is produced is accurate and relevant. The search can also be done based on geographical areas, so there may be places locally that show positive tweets and vice versa.
Another approach is using Google Alerts, this is a content service that updates the user if there is a post online on a news board, blog or a forum. The user is contacted when the post is made based on the search terms that are set on the Google Account.
A new service that can be adopted is called the tweet deck. This deck has the facility to monitor many social media websites. This saves time as you will not have to sign into multiply accounts, particularly as we have mentioned any negative comments will need to be handled immediately. Plus, any offers, business news, photos and links that you want to post will land on all social media sites with tweet deck, instead of posting them on all the sites individually.
With more and more people turning to the internet for so many essential and non essential duties, the internet is developing into the first point of contact. Managing a brands online presence might appear to be a bit of a military operation. However, you can challenge these concepts and turn them into a positive aspect that will improve your online marketing strategy. So, the three biggest challenges are talked about below.
As we perhaps all recognise, we get hundreds of marketing messages thrown at us every day. The main issue that a brand has is getting noticed. As with all brands, the larger your brand is the easier it is to overcome this exposure issue. A strong brand icon/logo has an instant connection to a service or a product that stands out on a search engine results list. Plus, as a strong and reputable brand you may have links to your website from customers that have already experienced your services and have made comments on your brand that could help your search campaign.
For the lesser brands that are normally just online based, the efforts to promote brand awareness are a far bigger challenge. First of all, getting noticed is difficult, if you do achieve this then you have to engage and interact with them online. The way to improve this is to find an appropriate strong position for the website. This will involve monitoring SEO and collecting search results. The SEO will be a critical cog in the website; the more affective this is, the stronger the brand, just like traditional brand management. The website with SEO is essential to building brand awareness in connection with Online Brand Management – this will then engage with customers and forces a mental link from the brand to the service or product.
Using SEO is a strong start towards managing an online brand. However, there are more aspects that have to be combated. One of the other aspects that need to be managed is control, or perhaps the lack of control. The lack of control over content that is published about brands that is established and unknown is another key issue.
The number of forums, blog platforms, and even review platforms is always increasing and what is written on one is normally copied onto another. What customers write and post on these websites is beyond the control of any brand manager/team. So, is this impossible to eradicate? Yes, is the short answer.
However, as a part of the strategy, there should be allocated time that includes reviewing the review sites and the forums to make sure that there are no negative or damaging comments. If they are found, it is good practice to investigate the claims and make sure that they don’t happen again and attempt to rectify the problem. On the flip side of that is to thank those that have left positive comments/posts to add creditability to the brand name.
Forums as opposed to review sites tend to be more locally based and concentrate on an individual organisation. They are crucial to be reviewed as a massive amount of feedback can be discovered (both positive and negative), including the type of consumers that their brand attracts, what they feel they need in addition to what is currently offered and also data for new markets and innovations. So, being registered on local forums would be a part of the strategy.
Blogs take a slightly different twist on things as the content that is posted is traditionally by industry experts or perhaps the trend setters in a specific market. If the content on the blog is negative it will persuade others to take on board these negative comments. It is massively important that the blogger is contacted and explains the content – this must be handled and changed while investigating the evidence.
Any negative reputation will not go away over night, stats show that if you have a bad experience you will tell more and write more about it in contrast to a great experience. The perception of a brand that occasionally receives poor comments; this has to be offset by long term positive comments. When the positive posts and comments are submitted they should be embraced and recognised.
Developing a business profile is a great way to increase awareness. Unfortunately, there can also be danger at your door, as an online business profile can be duplicated in your business/brand name with no need to verify them. This will affect business and your brand if this happens. If it does this may cause more bad content on review sitse and forums against your brand name that has nothing to do with you.
Keeping a close eye on business directories is important. The business directories details need to be accurate; otherwise you will be missing enquiries and potential business. Making sure you are aware what websites your business details are on i.e. Yell.co.uk, is good practice so that they can be reviewed and made sure they are right. Plus, if you have to change addresses or a sales email address you don’t have to search for these sites, because you already have a list.
Finally, people have the ability to interact on social media with one-another, but it is also used for checking out brands. Let’s be honest – that was going to happen anyway. The brands do have the facility to edit the post and comments on a public domain of social media. Social media is a good platform as long as the content that is posted is accurate and interesting. Perhaps including top offers, amusing office pictures and the occasional embarrassing charity events, as long as the audience is entertained this will increase brand awareness and brand trust.
Without trust, the marketing message that is shown is nothing and is never going to result in a purchase. The level of difficulty does vary depending on the status of the business (established or unknown). Trust can be encouraged by having a very simple and transparent order process that includes a process line. Each page should have a contact number or a chat window for assistance and a statement that highlights their data protection procedure after the order is placed.
Once these areas have been improved, you will see a gain in orders and revenue. The next stage is to embed a customer’s loyalty to your brand. The internet has made it very easy to shop around and compare. So, when the brand identification and awareness is growing, how are you going to defeat the shopping and comparison and build that loyalty?
Storm are delighted to announce the launch of a new mobile phone sim only comparison website – www.simcardoffers.co.uk.
The site has been designed in house by our creative team, and put together utilising Storm’s bespoke website development tools – incorporating some engaging DHTML, Ajax and JQuery functions which give the web user a rich and interactive experience.
As part of the design, Storm has named the sites friendly character ‘Simmy’ – living, breathing sim card character who accompanies the user throughout the website journey.
Storm have partnered up with leading UK mobile providers O2, Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile and Three to offer the best sim only deals, where the site visitor can filter and sort their options based on minutes, text, data allowance, price and more.
Manchester based media experts MediaVest have commissioned Storm to provide creative and build support to their website refresh.
MediaVest plan and buy advertising across the full spectrum of communications channels, from TV and newspapers through to the full range of digital offerings – and as part of their continuous brand developments, approached Storm to create a new website design that will easily integrate with their existing branding and logos.
The project utilises Storm’s experienced creative team to take a concise brief and produce a website theme that is both engaging and search friendly – ensuring W3C standards are maintained but allowing for a rich user experience.
The new MediaVest site is planned to launch in stages – the Storm creative allows for this due to the way that the source code and designs have been developed. The site concept is simple but striking, and the brand guidelines allow for a huge amount of flexibility when MediaVest decide to create a new page or section from their in house content management system.
“We have taken existing branding and styles, and moved them forward organically.” said Andy, Storm’s Head of Creative, “The new site creates a fresh feel but maintains a brand familiarity”.
MediaVest clients include Thomas Cook, Barratt Homes, Holland & Barrett , JD Williams, Hidden Hearing, Screwfix, Bradford Exchange, ghd, Bupa and more.
For more information about how Storm can help you with your business branding and website, check out the ‘branding and design’ section of our website.
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