In today’s world of social networking, it is all too easy to have a negative situation on your hands. All it takes is one person spreading a rumor about your company and suddenly, the entire twitter-sphere, Facebook and LinkedIn users may pick up on it.
Worse, you may never hear about what is going on and what is being said about your company. Ignorance is not bliss in this day and age, and if you’re not taking active steps to manage your brand identity online, you may find out that irreparable damage has been done.
Here are some steps you can take to make sure your brand’s identity is managed carefully.
- Monitor social networking sites. Create Google alerts with your company’s name and consider hiring a brand management specialist to help monitor social networking sites. If something negative pops up about your company, it should be handled immediately.
- Never stoop to a lower level. In order to sustain your identity, you must be professional and friendly at all times. Remember, you are being watched. If you handle even the most venomous situation with grace and professionalism, it will be remembered. Conversely, handle it badly and it will be well remembered and well discussed.
- Don’t remove or ignore negative postings. It’s all too easy to be tempted to simply eradicate a negative review or comments on your site, or not deign to respond to a snarky comment on a social networking site. Pay attention to how the large companies handle fall-out and follow their lead. The customer should be placated and the discussion must never be allowed to disintegrate into nastiness on your part. It may not always be possible to make every complainer happy, but you are showing the rest of the world how you handle your business.
Online brand management is a new strategy for many companies. If you haven’t taken the time to see what people are saying about your company, start today. You never know what you may find.