Online brand management is crucial to businesses for maintaining a loyal customer base. As with any marketing campaign, the way in which you represent your brand can mean the difference between becoming a success or just another player.
What Is Brand Management?
Brand management is the process of tracking how customers are looking at your brand. At this moment, many of your past customers are going on their social media accounts, logging into online forums and visiting blogs, and commenting on their experiences with you and your competitors. Have you provided fast, professional service, or did one of your employees provide poor service and/or became rude towards a customer? Customers remark on every one of those experiences, and more too.
This creates brand awareness. Whether that awareness is positive or negative depends on how you and your employees treat your customers and how you respond to customer feedback. Remember, the Internet is a great place to gather information, and that information stays online for a long time. Customer feedback and your response to it will stay on the Internet and affect your image, whether positively or negatively.
So How Do I Manage My Brand?
Brand management is actually simpler than you think. Whether you know it or not, your website is only a small part of your online brand. It may not even be where potential customers are forming their opinion of your company. You have to go out there and create awareness for your brand. Of course, your website can be invaluable for brand management. Below are five important tips to consider when managing your brand.
1. Establish a brand online
Obviously, to manage your brand, you must first create a brand to manage. This is done in various ways. You can utilize social media to create brand awareness online, utilize online avatar sites like Gravatar, and maintain a website that positively shows the products and services you offer. All three of these methods are good building blocks to establish an online identity and critical for branding online.
Keep in mind that everyone will know you by your logo, so make it good. First impressions count and they often attract repeat customers as well!
2. Be consistent
Perhaps one of the most critical ways of managing your brand is to maintain consistency, both in business dealings and in public relations. Knowing the tone of voice your company will use online and planning how you will interact with existing and potential customers online is important to maintaining consistency especially if you engage employees to respond to customers on behalf of the company. Inconsistency is the enemy of businesses and has been known to destroy a business outright.
3.Educate brand representatives
Good internal communication is a critical part of brand marketing in the online environment as well. If your employees don’t know your goals or how you intend to achieve those goals, their talents can go to waste and they may not reflect the values of your company in their online activity. Sure they might know about brand management, but your employees need to be part of the plan on helping your business online.
4. Use brand management services to track brand mentions
You can use brand management services to track how well marketing campaigns are doing, and what kind of reputation your business has built with your customers. A good free brand management service is Google Alerts, which tracks any brand mentions and sends you an E-mail when it comes across any online mentions of your brand, whether through social media, online forums, or the comments section of blogs.
There are also stand-alone applications like Hootsuite, Social Mention and Sprout Social if you prefer going the software route. These programs basically do the same thing as Google Alerts – track brand mentions on social media and monitor social media traffic.
These tips are a starting point to creating an online management strategy for your brand reputation. Keep in mind that the world of online marketing is always changing, and people are always creating new ways to market. The more you make a conscious effort to monitor and represent your brand online, the more control you will have over awareness and attitudes towards your brand. That is all a crucial part of your online marketing strategy.