This is the fourth post in a series about rebranding. Read the previous posts in the series: "How to Allure Ideal Clients With Stellar Rebranding", "Put Your Stellar Rebrand Into Play: Personas", "Put Your Stellar Rebrand Into Play: Personalization and Presence"
The core of rebranding is to attract your ideal client through a great value proposition, the correct personas, and consistency of your brand in all the marketing that you do. In this post you will learn how to best track the chatter on the web about your brand and how to respond to that chatter.
THE WEB IS THE WORLD
People are talking about your brand beyond the pages of your website. They’re blogging about your brand. They’re mentioning their experience with your business on their own Facebook pages. They’re discussing your brand in groups on LinkedIn and posting videos about it to YouTube. In short, there’s a whole lot of conversation going on about your brand, that you have no control over.
Some of this conversation may be good, and some of it may be bad. Some of it may even be outright lies. But for better or for worse, it will live in cyberspace forever. What you can do, however, is to monitor the conversation. Obviously, you can’t catch every comment out there, but you can keep an eye on the larger and more obvious channels.
Create Google Alerts for your business and words associated with it. Search Twitter for certain keywords pertaining to the brand, to see what people are saying. We’ll talk more about what kinds of terms to search for later on. But there are all sorts of tools you can use to keep track of what people are saying about a particular brand online. Then, you can implement damage control when needed, or extend the reach of people’s positive experience into your own channels.
To monitor a brand effectively in the inbound age, you need the first-touch attribution, the last-touch attribution, and everything in between. In other words, you need closed-loop analytics.
It’s helpful to know that a particular customer closed after converting on an e-mail offer. But where did the customer come from originally? Your blog? How did they find it? Social media? What network? Which content did they read? How long did it take them to convert? What other content did they download while they were a lead?
For all of this, you’ll need multi-channel, closed-loop analytics, with in-depth reports—like Hubspot’s Conversion Assists, for instance—to give you the full view of what efforts are supporting your branding initiatives and, most importantly, that your branding initiatives are driving real business results.
BRAND MONITORING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
You might think monitoring every mention of your business online is a Herculean task. And you would be right. As we mentioned already, it’s literally impossible to cover everything being said about a brand. However, we also mentioned that there are tools to help you. Google has super-Herculean servers and web crawlers, which make keeping tabs on your client’s brand online much simpler, with tools like Google Alerts or even Hubspot’s social monitoring software.
Input terms you need to track that are important for brand management. These are the terms that encompass:
• Company name
• Names of key executives, public-facing employees, or other prominent people connected with your client’s company
• Branded names of products, services, or features Voila! You now have a good handle on how, when, and where your brand is mentioned online!
BONUS TIP: You can set up Alerts to monitor competitors’ mentions, too. Enter their brand name, product names, and key executives. Who knows, you might even be able to exploit any knowledge you accrue this way before they do!
RESPONDING WHEN THINGS GO WRONG
In social media there are three ways a brand can be mentioned: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Be prepared for all three. Decide ahead of time which types of incidents constitute a crisis for your business, and which are just bumps in the road. Then, develop a response plan and assign teams to handle each outcome. For instance, a technical glitch would probably go to the IT department, whereas an unsatisfied customer might go to customer service.
Being prepared for these instances is critical for maintaining the good brand you’ve built up for your business. But the key is timeliness. Any crisis or PR disaster can be smoothed over, but the longer you wait to respond, the longer the negative press has a chance to spread, with nothing to quench the flames. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but some events and situations can seriously, even permanently damage your reputation if not dealt with properly.
So, prepare a “holding statement” ahead of time for any major event. This is a brief statement that you can post online or on social media that explains that you’re aware of the situation (whatever it may be), and you will respond in greater detail as soon as possible. Fill in the statement with a few specifics of the situation in question, and include a time estimate of when further information might be coming, so it doesn’t sound like you’re just giving people a recorded message. Then, direct people to other channels where those announcements will be made. Twitter is particularly suited to real-time updates like this.
Think about how the target persona would want to be treated, and how they’d want to be talked to in these circumstances. Knowing the audience and what they expect from your brand will help you respond appropriately.
Don’t Forget: It’s better to be right than fast. Time is of the essence, but not at the expense of accuracy. That’s what the holding statement is for—to buy you the time to get things right and respond in the best possible way, without making it seem like you’re ignoring what’s going on.
RESPONDING TO THE GOOD
The web is as neutral a territory as you’re likely to find. It presents as many opportunities for good publicity as it does for, well, less-good publicity.
Use social media monitoring to take life’s lemons and make some cool, refreshing lemonade. They don’t even have to be your lemons. Look for opportunities to turn someone else’s loss into your gain (tactfully, of course), and shine the spotlight on your marketing savvy.
For instance, if your business is a spa, and your town is hosting a marathon, have them set up a chair massage station for the runners and crew members, and give free 5-minute massages along the route. Get lots of photos and videos of smiling, blissful faces (preferably that include the brand in there somewhere) and post them on social media—and for any other outlets who might want to pick up the story.
Get Back To Work
Back to the grind and back to making that rebrand awesome! As you can see rebranding for your ideal clients is a thorough job but it will pay off in the end with new, happy clients. Come back for our final post in this series that will cover how to measure your results.
source: This post was adapted from the ebook "Branding In The Inbound Age", www.hubspot.com