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Prepare, Listen, Respond

You know people are talking about your brand online, but how are you supposed to manage all of those opinions, questions, negative comments, praise, and everything else? Are you prepared to handle a crisis when one happens?

Here are three quick steps to better manage your brand online:

1. Establish your brand online – When someone types your company’s name into a search engine, your website and social media handles should be the top organic search results. You can do this by increasing your website’s search engine optimization (SEO) such as using hyperlinks often and adding in searchable keyword phrases.

2. Monitor your brand online – To solve a simple customer service issue or deal with a major brand issue, you first have to know it is happening. Some of the more popular monitoring tools are Google Alerts, Tweet Deck, Social Mention, BuzzMetrics, Trackur and The Radian6 Social Marketing Cloud. And when it comes to solving problems, know who needs to be involved and who needs to approve responses. In a crisis situation, there is a need for speed.

3. Engage with your community – Know your audience. Identify your brand influencers (strong following and societal pull) and talkers (fans). Build relationships with these people because they can be your strongest advocates. Listen, respond and add value.

From fast and direct feedback to two-way communication with customers, there are many benefits of using social media as a brand platform. The rise of social media has even created less of a need for traditional focus groups. But to enjoy all that social media can do for you, you have to establish your infrastructure, processes and community. Then you’re on your way to making happy customers even happier.

Check out this social listening flow chart for further practice when engaging with your community.

Kristin is the communications department intern and shared this post with us as a part of her semester digital media brand exchange project at UT.

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