There probably is never a great time to start monitoring your online presence because of busy schedules and full to-do lists, but it is extremely important.  I generally have someone audit my company and my online presence every couple of months and monitor interactions daily.   I have found that done that often, the audit becomes faster and more efficient.  Keeping a log of your audit actions will also help make it a faster, more efficient task.

And, I have found that interacting with my audience promptly and with good information is the best brand advocacy building practice.  The key message — monitor and engage.

In this blog, I am going to review some of the action items we do to monitor, manage and enhance our online brand reputation.

Why do you want to do this?  Because it is a way to make sure your business is represented the way you want it to be represented, and your customers are getting a good impression of who you are and what you do?  This not only creates good will but a good understanding, among your audience, of what you do and what you offer.   A key to business success.

Seven actionable items you can incorporate to manage and enhance your brand’s online presence.

Know your audience.

Okay, not a new concept but, in my experience, often not really done.

Don’t stop with what you think you know, but really learn and listen to your audience.   Social media is a great way to learn more and gather more information on who is using, purchasing and loving your product or service.  Monitoring where your audience is congregating and what they are looking for is valuable information that can be learned from the monitoring process.

 Keep track of your social footprint.

To keep this task simple, analyze which social networks are working best for you and limit your presence to just those social media outlets that are reaching your audience.  When monitoring, check all social media sites to see what, if any, comments are posted on those sites.

Respond to people promptly. 

 This is a biggie and I find typically neglected.  It does take time and a dedicated person.  Portland Leather is an excellent example of a company that offers prompt answers to questions, resolves customer issue and is even getting some great customer insight.  They offer a Facebook group page.

Any time your customer asks a question or leaves a comment, it is a great time to engage.  Of course, answer all questions.  And look at the negative comments and look at ways you can handle those.  Don’t disregard them.

Ask for Google and Yelp reviews.

I often see this after my family, or I visit a medical facility or dentist.  It is an automatic message and is easy to answer.  Look at ways to automate this process, and you will notice an uptick in your reviews.

And, again, monitor those reviews and either learn from them, answer them or see what, if any, input you can gather from your reviews.

Encourage brand advocacy.

Portland Leather offers another great example of encouraging advocacy for their brand.  Check this company out on their Facebook page and no I am not part to act company nor are they a client.

It is a good idea to ask customers to endorse your brand or ask for referrals.  After all, they will want to tell others and share their experience with others.

Be transparent.

This is another of those ideas that is good to do but often misinterpreted.

Just be yourself and real to your audience.  It will come through loud and clear if you are not.

Set goals.

Goal setting is a staple in any planning activity, knowing what you want or need to achieve and writing it down and refining it as the market changes is always a good idea.

Try these ideas and let me know how they work for you.