Brand optimization through social media is imperative for your business in the digital space. This can be achieved through creating brand consistency throughout the social platforms you are using, your website as well as your offline marketing efforts. In order to create a successful brand message that will reach the people the right way, start by doing these 5 simple things.
Avoid location confusion!
If your business has a brick-and-mortar location that customers can visit, you must have the same address listed on every platform you use. This includes Google and listing sites like CitySearch and Yelp. Although this may seem like a no-brainer, oftentimes businesses forget to update their addresses when they move their store to another location. Forgetting this important step will create frustration and potential loss of business. If you run a home based or online only operation, be sure to have your phone number and email readily available to the public.
Your logo is one of the first things your customer sees. Whether it be on your website, social platforms or in offline advertising, you want it to be the same image in every medium.
In terms of social media, it should be broken down as such: All your avatars on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ should be your logo or a photo with your logo as the watermark. Twitter is the only platform you can choose a color scheme and background for your personal timeline, and you should pick elements and a color scheme that coordinate with your brand. Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+ allow you to upload a “cover photo” which is just another space you can put your logo or a branded photo.
For those who are not so Photoshop savvy, there are sites that can help you create beautiful graphics for free. One of our favorite sites is Canva. Canva has predesigned templates that include the appropriate sizes for a Facebook cover photo, a Twitter background image or anything else you may need to create.
Keep Up With Your Profiles
Social media profiles for your business are a great asset to your online marketing strategy, but only if you use them correctly. Not only should your visuals be consistent, but you should also take advantage of the space provided for marketing messages. Make sure your website URL is a clickable link wherever allowed. Clicking on the cover photo on your Facebook page leads to a post in which you can list all your contact information as well as an extensive marketing message. After you upload a video to YouTube fill out the description with your website URL first as a clickable link, the rest of your contact info, and then describe the video. LinkedIn provides quite a bit of space to describe who you are and what your qualifications are. A company page on LinkedIn affords nearly unlimited opportunities to promote your business.
Stay on Top of Your Reviews
Online reviews show that you do great, or sometimes not so great, work. Whether the review is positive or critical you need to respond in a timely manner, within 24 hours if possible.
Now I know you’re wondering how responding to online reviews fits into brand optimization, but it’s pretty simple. Do you want to be known as a company with exemplary customer service? The first step would be to demonstrate it through the work you do, which I’m sure most businesses strive to do. But an equally important aspect of customer service is how you interact with your customers online. This includes addressing, and hopefully resolving the problems behind the dreaded negative reviews.
Does your brand need a clear message but don’t know where to start? We can help design and execute a cohesive brand message that will make you stand out from your competitors. Contact us today at info@contentandcreativity or call us at 610.937.5187.
A podcast is an audio or video file that is parsed out in episodes. Listeners can either stream these episodes online on sites like SoundCloud or download them through apps like iTunes. Unlike traditional radio, anyone can start a podcast; and if promoted successfully it can ultimately have a strong, loyal fanbase. The audience for your podcast can be anybody in your demographic, but not limited to your geographical area. If your company is looking to get increased online reach and exposure, this is a great way to achieve it.
Podcasts are not just for the younger generations; Baby Boomers not only listen but create podcasts as well. In nearly every industry, whether B2B or B2C, podcasts are likely to be used. Still not convinced? Here are some serious advantages to starting a podcast for your business.
Show what you know
Think of it this way: you have a business blog, not only to make your website dynamic (and therefore higher in the search rankings!), but also to show that you and your business are an authority in your industry. Why not use another format to convey that as well? The content is where you need to shine. Although podcasts typically utilize evergreen content, you want to be aware of what your industry goes through during any given season and create content accordingly. Let’s say you’re a mechanic and you have a podcast about cars and car maintenance. You aren’t going to get many views about winterizing your tires in June. Keep it current but also universal so that your listeners can go back to the episode and have it be helpful whenever they need it.
Let your personality shine
Podcasts need to be as entertaining as they are informative. Nobody’s going to listen to a monotone voice with a bland topic for thirty minutes. This medium is where creativity and personality sets many podcasters apart. If you’re feeling uninspired, have a guest on the show. This could be a colleague or someone else in your company who has a topic they’d like to discuss.
An advertising avenue less traveled
The larger your audience is, the more likely you can find other companies that want to advertise on your podcast. This may sound counterintuitive, but it can benefit you monetarily in two ways. The advertiser could pay for a 30 second ad or give your listeners a special coupon code to take advantage of. Depending on the advertiser and your audience size, they may even agree to do both. Although this sounds exciting to have ads on your podcast, you’re going to have to focus on building up your listenership and creating great content before you even get to this step. But if you become successful enough advertising is a definite possibility.
Things to remember
Despite podcasts being free to the listener, creating a podcast will incur some costs. These include buying equipment, if you don’t already have it, and purchasing a Pro account on a podcasting site, if necessary. These costs are relatively minimal depending upon your recording frequency and the size of audience you are reaching.
Speaking of recording frequency, it’s important to adhere to a schedule. Whether it be bi-weekly or monthly, it’s important to keep your listeners abreast of what’s going on. Although posting hiatuses are frowned upon, it’s much better than creating weak content for your listeners that they may lose interest in. If you’re going to take a break, send out a notification so your fans know what’s up. Hopefully, they will be there when you return. But there are no guarantees.
In yet another episode of The Generational Divide on the Internet, I discovered that my millennial daughter makes purchases in a completely different way than I am used to. I recommended a product to her based upon features and price (“It’s a steal!”) but within minutes she informed me that she was in no way inclined to buy. Why? There were negative comments about the company all over the Internet, they had an overall rating of one and one half stars, and 1,400 people had registered complaints with the Better Business Bureau. 1,400! Wow.
Two points immediately occurred to me. First, for years many of my contemporaries would never consider purchasing a car, a TV or even a toaster without first consulting Consumer Reports. But more significantly, now people are not only looking for product reviews but COMPANY information in the reviews as well.
So what should a business owner do about reviews?
Monitor – always and forever.
If your website has product review capabilities naturally that’s where the process starts, but it is by no means where it ends. You need to monitor review sites such as Yelp, Citysearch and Yahoo. There are dozens of them, some industry specific, so try to divide the list up and allocate your visits over the week. It also pays to run a Google search for your company name and try pairing it with scary words such as “scam”, “phony” and “rip-off”. Unfortunately there may be people out there who wish to do harm to reputable companies. This is why you need to stay on top of these reviews.
Respond whenever possible.
A former client had a habit of responding to every attack on him with a vicious counterattack. He simply could not understand that his reaction did absolutely nothing for his credibility, and in fact did much more damage than the original comments themselves.
Obviously this is not an effective way to respond. The best method is to recognize a legitimate customer concern and try to resolve it or at least make it better as quickly as possible.
Not all bad reviews are bad.
According to Power Reviews 82% of consumers actually look for negative reviews to validate that the reviews of the company they are researching are authentic. (Source, Website Magazine) In other words, if you think you can pepper the Internet with tons of glowing but fake reviews of your company, think again. Most consumers will not trust the reviews at all, see it as a scam, and therefore they will be unlikely to trust any authentic positive comments as well.
Social Proof – where the generations meet.
Whether you are targeting millennials, baby boomers, or any other age group, everyone trusts their friends, and they connect with their friends on social media. When a friend posts on Facebook that they enjoyed their delicious meal at XYZ Restaurant, or got a great deal at the sale at ABC Boutique, it is irrefutable proof of the value of the business. This is why large companies as well as small businesses are using social sites not only to promote their businesses but also to enhance customer experiences.
If you would like help with setting up a review campaign we have a budget-friendly solution that uses social proof that can create massive positive awareness of your business. Contact us today: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 610-937-5187.