So you’ve decided to implement a monitoring program. Whether you went with a small entity like Trackur or Hubspot, or a mega-engine like Google News or IceRocket, you are on the right path by monitoring what is being said about your business and what is trending in your industry. Now that you are onboard, your work is not done. Consider this the largest of all customer service arenas—where your reputation can flourish or sour depending upon how you choose to play. We’d love to share some winning tips with you:
Don’t Come up Empty-Handed
Say, “So long!” to the old days of no news is good news. Today, no news is a message to people that your company is irrelevant or non-existent. Think about how you use the Internet. You likely look up hotels and restaurants where you plan to vacation, and compare airline prices and rental deals to get you there. You may even search for local stores and service providers by typing “lawn service, Atlanta” or “dentist, Tucson” into your search bar. Once you come up with a few choices, you’ll likely research their reputation and ratings. You hardly have to stroke a key to do that anymore, because so many rating services are tacked onto search results these days that it’s there before you ask for it! If there’s NO buzz about your business, try to generate some. This leads us to our next point:
Invite People to Connect
Invite people to share their positive experiences about you on social media. You can do this by asking them to “Like” you on Facebook or suggesting they share their experience on your industry’s review sites. If they aren’t inclined to do this out of the kindness of their hearts, reward customers through a contest, a freebie, or a coupon—Facebook is the perfect place to run promos like these and generate buzz. Bonus? You’ll have a strong list of your customer base to send future promotions and news.
Use It or Lose It
There is no sense in a monitoring program if you don’t utilize the findings. Once you learn about your company on the Internet, work your findings. Use positive press to generate more press, and quash negative press by killing them with kindness, apologies, explanations, a “thank you” for the feedback, and a promise to do better—and then do so.
Monitor Your Competition
Learn not only what’s being said about your brand, but about the industry as a whole, so that you can proactively respond to positive or negative press. If there’s been a new development in your industry, take the opportunity to weigh in on what’s happening and how it will or won’t affect your business. If your competitor did something to garner negative press, consider staying on the high road by not adding to the negativity, but do combat any transfer of credibility issues if they exist.
Accept this New Groove
Social media is here to stay, much to the chagrin of traditionalists who miss their now defunct local newspaper and resist technological addiction unlike many of their younger counterparts. Instead of detesting media’s rapid evolution, embrace its possibilities. A good Internet solution provider can help you customize and focus your goals so you’ll soon be a leader in your market. Talk to your media expert or website designer about how to integrate and use a monitoring program to cultivate social media topics and stay in touch with your consumer base.