Listen, Monitor, Adjust | *Blueprint for Social Media Success*

Have you ever Googled your name or the name of your business?  Of course you have. Researching your reputation on line is an essential part of launching and growing a business.  In fact, listening to the social conversation should be the very first step you take in creating a strategy around your social media marketing.

Brand marketing success often depends upon asking the right questions. Here are five key questions to ask yourself before launching a marketing campaign.

What are they saying about me now? It’s essential to know exactly where you are, right now, in terms of visibility, reputation and brand trust.  You can’t change the consumer’s mind or reinforce what they already think of you unless you know what they’re saying.

  • Setting up Google alerts for your name, your business name, your product, your competitors and leaders in your industry is an easy and free way to begin monitoring the conversation.  Twitter can also be used as a real-time conversation monitor.  Checking your @replies, DM’s and RT’s will show you how well you’re doing in spreading influence.

Are they saying what I’d like them to be saying about me?

  • Through listening and monitoring, you’ll be able to gauge the effectiveness of your messaging. Take a look at how others list you on Twitter. If they’re using the kinds of keywords that you’d use to promote yourself, then your message is hitting target. But if you’re being listed as “annoying,” “follows back,” or “sales oriented,” you might not be hitting a homerun with your messages.  This is simply information.  Listen, learn, and adjust.

What are they saying about my competition?

  • Again, Google searches and using Twitter and Facebook to keep an eye on your competition, can help you understand how consumers are responding to competitive messages. You can use this information to adjust or increase your messages.

Is there a weak spot in the competition’s offering I can fulfill?

Listening will help you discover new product and services that a competitors fans and followers are asking and give you the opportunity to fill that need before someone else in the marketplace does.  Think of the listening and monitoring phase as market research for new product development or as a way to develop enhancements to your current offerings.  Let the customers tell you what they want.  Then produce it.

What if no one is talking about me?

This is valuable information.  If nothing comes up when you Google yourself and/or your business, you’ll know that you’ve got work to do.  A strong social media presence, strategically delivered content, and a good marketing plan will change that and help you garner the visibility you and your brand need to succeed.  A solid social media marketing cycle will include, at least these five key platforms:

  1. Facebook Fan Page for your business
  2. A Twitter Account
  3. A Branded YouTube Channel
  4. A Blog
  5. A LinkedIn Profile

We’ll be talking about how to use these five tools to drive your brand messages and conversations across multiple platforms to engage with the widest possible audience in a new 9 module training beginning in April.  Until then, please let us know if you have specific questions about increasing your visibility and building your brand.  Post your questions here and we’ll continue the conversation.

About Cindy Ratzlaff

Cindy Ratzlaff was named by Forbes to the “20 Best Branded Women on Twitter,” list and Forbes Woman called her one of the “Top 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter.” She is a 20-year veteran of the book publishing industry, having worked for or consulted to Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books, Rodale Inc., Meredith, Macmillan and Oxmoor House. At Rodale, Cindy was the Vice President of Brand Marketing and Associate Publisher, Trade Books. During her tenure, she designed and executed the marketing and publicity campaigns for the very first New York Times bestselling books in the 68-plus year history of that company. She guided more than 150 books onto the New York Times bestseller list during her publishing career.

In 2005, Cindy was named to the prestigious Advertising Age Marketing 50 List for her multiple award-winning launch of The South Beach Diet. For the next five years, she managed the international publishing program for the more than $150 million dollar a year brand and consulted to the 36 international publishing partners who published more than 23 million copies of the South Beach Diet books. Cindy pioneered a new book publishing methodology called Marketing 360, which is now widely emulated throughout the industry and lectures on this strategy at major industry functions. Cindy is an experienced keynote speaker on a using social media for brand development. She was a founding member of the International Social Media Association, a current member of the Women’s Media Group, an author, and President of Brand New Brand You Inc., a branding and marketing firm, where she focuses on cross platform integrated marketing strategies and key message communications. She is a Managing Partner of the Social Media Academy for Women, a boutique training and consulting firm specializing in using new social technologies for brand visibility.

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