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:
- Facebook Fan Page for your business
- A Twitter Account
- A Branded YouTube Channel
- A Blog
- 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.