How much does your brand stand out?
Does your brand’s marketing start a conversation or do you preach to your customers? Do you ask them what they think, what they want and what they like? Do you offer them a forum where they can share their thoughts with you? When they speak, do you listen? And conversely, when you speak to they pay attention?
There’s a classic commercial campaign for EF Hutton that dramatically makes the point. Two individuals are discussing investments. One asks the other what his broker advises and when the response is, “Well, my broker is EF Hutton…and EF Hutton says,” the entire room (or plane of passengers in this instance) stops, leans out to hear what it is that EF Hutton advises. The ad’s voice over pronounces, “When E.F. Hutton talks…people listen.” All the surrounding people in each ad stop, turn, or come closer to hear what pearls of wisdom are about to be spilled. It ought to be the case for your firm as well. Our reputations ought to be so trusted, so well respected that when people speak the name of our business, people stop, turn and pay attention.
Why to do you want to be an authority?
Developing authority so you and your firm are considered sources for information is a critical component of your public relations and marketing activity. When you and your team are authorities on topics, you may serve as sources to help the news media and to position the brand in a manner that is distinctive. Every company has a niche. It is up to you to comprehend what makes your services or good better than your competitors. When setting your brand apart, these advantages must be constantly called out so that potential customers pay attention and recall them when they have a need for the services you provide. However, besides pointing out your differences and distinctiveness, you also need to listen to your customers.
Why do you want to listen to your customers?
Ignoring your customers’ point of view is to ignore the best source of marketing research you can have. In order to develop authority, one must listen to one’s customers. Paying attention to their needs, wants, objections and issues informs the way you provide services, develop products and solve issues. If you’re not listening to your customers, you’re missing a key opportunity to understand what they expect.
Find out how to grow from listening to your customers.
A few weeks ago we wrote a post about reputation management. It’s a topic that comes up a lot when we speak with business owners who are working to manage their online presence and ensure that their presentation to the public is in line with their brand.
Bad Reviews and Your Business
We all know that a bad review on Yelp or Google can influence a customer’s buying behavior. For professional service businesses, Clutch, Healthgrades and AVVO also should be proactively used.
What should you say when responding to a poor review? Or should you ignore them? How can you counteract Google search results which show negative things about your owner or your business?
Learn about Managing Your Business Reputation
What’s involved in managing your own reputation? What should you look out for? What should you assign to a public relations agency? Bring your questions about reputation management and your brand to our conversation. Sign up for our free, weekly, virtual Round Table by visiting our website.
Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Your reputation is everything
Your professional and personal reputation is one of the most valuable assets you and your business *own*…except it’s not something you can lock up and protect. As valuable as it is, it can be stolen from you in the blink of an eye by a poor review, a flaming post on social media or by a negative post on a review website. There are many online services which will manage and respond to reviews, mentions, and help monitor to prevent exploits against you and your brand. However, they can be expensive. You can potentially do it yourself if you go about it in the right way.
What are others saying and sharing about your company? About you? Can you manage your reputation online yourself?
In response to a HARO query, we came up with the following action steps you can take to set up a management system to monitor and respond to mentions and activity around you and your business name.
- Develop a crisis communications strategy which allows you to have pre-formatted thoughts and procedures for how to respond to a *wilding* scenario when something flames on socials or forums or blogs.
- Make sure you have purchased all the domains in your company name so that you are not vulnerable to people setting up hate sites.
- Set up Google Alerts for your name, business name, product names, and any variables on your website and company.
- Set up searches on Twitter and other social media around your name and company name.
- Select and choose a social media listening/monitoring service, such as Hootsuite, and set up searches around your company, name, product names.
- Set up a schedule to regularly monitor all the major ranking and evaluation sites such as Yelp, Healthgrades (if you are a physician), AVVO (if you are an attorney), and others. Respond to negative and positive reviews with a balanced and careful strategy. You should have pre-developed messages of response for all types of reviews, e.g. the product was defective, they never delivered what I ordered, they were amazing, etc.
- Claim, update or claim your GoogleMaps and My Business listing. Update your listing with images, posts, and questions and answers. Regularly monitor it for reviews and respond as appropriate.
- Set up social media accounts (if you do not have them) for your business and regularly post there according to a social media strategy which aligns with your brand, goals and consumer personas. If you do not have a social media strategy, create one. You may choose not to post, but it is important that you claim your business name on social channels in order that you not lose control of it. On platforms such as Facebook, respond to reviews and monitor for mentions of your company name.
If you are not currently monitoring your reputation, resolve to take care of this as soon as possible. Don’t wait for a negative situation to damage your brand.
Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash