In today’s world it isn’t enough just to have a website. For many businesses, only being present on one social media network isn’t enough. Companies have to actively monitor how their online presence is affecting their business- both to effectively market and grow their business and to manage their online reputation. Here are 4 common mistakes businesses make with their online marketing efforts, and how these can be harmful to their reputations. Don’t let these mistakes harm your company’s bottom line.
You’re Not Being Proactive
A lot of businesses- especially small businesses- are guilty of not actively monitoring reviews and comments about their brand and products, which can subsequently lead to their brand and public relations suffering. This is especially harmful to business when potential customers search for your business or product online and only see negative information about the company.
Solution: Don’t wait for a problem or negative review to arise before you pay attention to your reputation. Assign someone within your company or hire someone from a company that specializes in online marketing and reputation management to actively search and monitor comments and reviews published online- this can range from blogs and review sites, to your company website and social media networks.
You Only Use One Social Media Network (or worse, you’re not on social media at all).
Each social media network attracts a slightly different audience, making it important for you to understand who your target customer is and how to effectively reach out to them via social media. In addition to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube are all valuable options to consider- using a combination of several networks and linking them can help you reach a wider audience.
Solution: Consider your business, it’s branding, and target market. Depending on what mix of products and/ or services you offer can help inform your choices in social media networks. For more formal options, LinkedIn and Google+ are good choices; more informal options such as Pinterest, Instagram, and Youtube can allow you to showcase your company, it’s product, and unique culture in a fun way that will encourage engagement with your audience. This is a great way to nurture a positive online reputation. If you’re unsure of which networks are a good fit for your company, speak with a marketing expert who can help you understand the merits of the different networks and help you come up with a strategy that will work for your company.
You Don’t Do Regular Updates
So you have a great company website and accounts on several social media networks. Great, but are you using them effectively? Simply having a website and profile on a social media network isn’t going to help you leverage these tools effectively, and having stagnant accounts that aren’t being monitored and/ or updated can leave your company vulnerable to negative content that can go unnoticed- again, a major booboo when it comes to managing your online reputation.
Solution: When you have selected which social media networks to use, ensure someone is responsible for monitoring and updating the content regularly. This can include company announcements, events, product releases, and other content that will appeal to your target audience. Make sure the content is appropriate and engaging- mix it up by including articles, videos, quotes, etc from other sources that relate to what your company does. Again, if you need some guidance in how to effectively execute a social media campaign and how to use social media to help manage your online reputation, speak to someone who can help you effectively manage your online marketing efforts.
You Don’t Engage with Your Audience
Once you start posting content, you will hopefully receive comments and opinions from your audience. In addition, customers may feel compelled to post their thoughts on a product they used or an experience with your company. It is important that these interactions are monitored and addressed- especially if a negative comment is shared. This is where the value of social media as an element of your online reputation management is evident- especially with regard to the immediacy of your response time.
Solution: By actively engaging with your audience you will create and help shape your company’s culture online and enhance it’s brand. This is a valuable element of marketing and reputation management. Engaging with your audience and addressing questions and concerns- and any negative comments that may arise- will help mitigate against the damage caused if negative content goes unnoticed. Your audience will appreciate your company’s interactive and proactive stance in addressing any questions or concerns that are brought to light. Remember: it’s easy to be liked when it’s smooth sailing, but it’s a valuable opportunity to demonstrate your company’s commitment to it’s customer’s when it has an opportunity to address and effectively manage a negative review or comment.
Now that you know what is lacking in your online marketing efforts, you can identify areas for improvement and effectively leverage online marketing to grow your business and build a positive reputation online. Simply having a marketing strategy isn’t enough if it isn’t being executed effectively.