In the previous blog, we spoke about the reason and need for brands and companies to push their efforts in Marketing towards Digital. We had to stop there as we felt that a very long post would make you lose interest in reading it much sooner than later.
Moving on, there are primarily three things to do to manage your Brand’s significance and reputation online:-
- LISTEN:Listening to others teaches us many things; our entire learning process in life is based on this virtue. We then take this learning through listeningand apply it in ways we never could. An organization having many brand/brands/products/services needs to do this even more. With simple LISTENING across various online platform’s we can gather consumer and miscellaneous user INFORMATION that is related to our product/service offerings. In the process you are actually gathering FEEDBACK and more so, IDENTIFYING future opportunities which ultimately helps you innovate. All this can then be effectively put to use in appropriate ways to provide a much better user experience.Social Media Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are not doubt the BIG regions where we can LISTEN to users, but considering the vastness of the Internet there are many niche sectors for individual and specific products and services where the experts usually reside and share INFORMATION. These include specific company blogs, targeted forums (For example, A traveller will look at TRIPADVISOR.com or LONELYPLANET.com in the U.S.A before embarking on a voyage). Shouldn’t a travel agency also look at it to understand traveller trends and come up with suitable packages to improve revenues? – NOW, what if a big and reputed travel agency goofs up due to some unforeseen consequences and all that banter lands up on these platforms? – Revenues might see a recession, just because no-one had the patience to LISTEN.There are many tools out there to LISTEN; Convonix has also launched its proprietary tool IRISTRACK to consolidate all this listening and smartly segment this data to help client’s make quick and effective decisions.
- ENGAGE:The society we all live in at its central core is all about ENGAGING. We interact with many different people coming from different walks of life very frequently. This helps us to be active on a daily basis and helps us get to know our world better or rather term it as “SOCIALLY ACTIVE!”How do we make a brand or company “Socially Active” online? – We make the brand SPEAK? The more the brand talks online, the more it creates awareness for itself. There are many mediums by which this can be done. A company can share videos about the products or services it offers, writing and sharing information about the various factors that come into play while using those products or services. Microsoft does not release a new version of Windows and maintains Omertà (a code of silence) once it is released. It continuously engages with its customer base and provides solutions and walkthroughs related to the OS based on customer queries. This keeps their customer’s base loyal to their brand, knowing that when a newer version is released, we already have ready buyers.Another good way of engaging with the audience is to interact with them and cater to them in real time while you are LISTENING. IRISTRACK again will help you achieve this. You just need to check the incoming data, internally locate an expert within the company who can answer the doubt or misconception and respond immediately.Engaging, again is not confined to Social Media, although it is indispensable. It can be done through direct communication with the customer or create and showcase content that will help solve and clear any misconceptions a user or prospective buyer might be having. This kind of two-way user interaction creates an emotional connect that generates trust and loyalty. Once you have these two with you, your product/service becomes an attractive asset to have, which in turn creates demand and thus generates revenue.
- CONTROL:When you gain popularity online, there are bound to be forces or a sect of people who are not going to agree with what you say. Sometimes due to load constraints or unforeseen conditions, things take drastic turns that tend to harm the brands value or reputation. Given the power of the web convoluted with its ability to keep users ANONYMOUS, a lot of negative chatter can go viral within just a few moments. This kind of NEGATIVITY always has the potential to create value destruction and loss of potential clients. While browsing for a particular subject if a user comes across content that talks against your brand/product/service and this is affirmed by many more websites, I need not say more about the consequences.While it is true that you won’t be able to control all of it immediately, it is absolutely necessary that this negative publicity be minimized immediately while the remaining stuff is progressively dealt with at a later time. This is because “ANYTHING that goes on the WEB stays on the WEB”.Q: HOW do we CONTROL all this?A: By LISTENING and ENGAGING. Through listening we will don’t only come to know WHAT users are talking about but also know the crucial WHERE it is being talked about. Once you have a set of targets to focus on, you can start ENGAGING with those users and in course of time a threat to your brand reputation is neutralized permanently. No doubt that a lot of effort goes into these activities, but thinking over a long term, it is definitely worth the effort.As far as possible, I believe that “PREVENTION is better than CURE”, so as a brand, START LISTENING and START TALKING