Digital Branding

Simple effective ways to exist and manage brand reputation online

Be smart in detecting utterances that are trying to negatively attack your brand and how to respond both on appreciation and trolls

The most difficult thing brands face online is managing
their brands. This is due to the fact that in most cases, followers of the
brand will tend to believe all the negative comments and attacks on the brand
to ruin its reputation.

It is easy to get so wrapped up in what others are doing
that you lose sight of what people are saying about you. Or more importantly,
you forget about your own conversations and relationships that you have been
working so hard to build.

In order to pull yourself together and withhold your brand’s
reputation, you will need to employ prevention to avoid bad reputation, be
smart in detecting utterances that are trying to negatively attack your brand
and how to respond both on appreciation and trolls. For instance,
you can practices.

Existence

1. Know your vision: Let first things be first. In order to build and manage an
online reputation, you should know what you want to achieve as a collective
brand. At this point, you should have the essentials: A name, a logo, website,
and hopefully, most importantly, a mission.

It’s time to decide what you want your brand image to really
be. What do you want your audience members to feel when they see your name,
logo, or anything that you publish?

2. Create stakeholder
personas
: Before you became a real brand, you probably (or at least
should have) had a good idea of who your customers are. After all, most brands
are built from a specific need you are looking forward to fill or problem to
solve.

Now that you have a stronger brand identity; identify your
target audience, operate beyond your customers to include other stakeholders,
such as potential brand partners, content partners, employees, members of the
media, and the list goes on.

Know these stakeholders. What problems do they have? What
are their interests, needs, and goals?

Start by creating stakeholder personas by defining what you
need to know about your stakeholders; what are their demographic and their
roles? What interests them? Where are they currently finding their news and
information? What information is going to allow you to better communicate with
them?

3. Inquire for feedback
from your audience (engagement)
: Each time you offer content, ask questions. You can also
include free gifts to customers upon answering some questions. Additionally,
make engagement the key principle to building your reputation and audience at
the same time. Prove to them that you are not a robot.

By using a media monitoring tool, it will allow you to
discover new conversations around your brand and related terms, as well as
where these conversations take place. Listen in to learn more about your target
audience.

4. Define your brand
voice
: Now that you know what your vision is and you have an idea
of who your stakeholders are, it’s time to define your brand voice.

Depending on what it is you offer, your overall tone may be
obvious. For example, someone marketing a treatment for a chronic disease is
going to speak in a much different tone than someone offering a social media
management tool.

Talk to your audience in their voice. Listen in on the
communities’ voice; what are they saying? Monitor how your stakeholders are conversing
between themselves and other brands, and then adapt a voice that aligns with
their communication style.

5. Set brand guidelines: In this category you need to apply everything we did in the
earlier steps to create a cohesive document that will get anyone who represents
your brand on the same page and singing the same tune.

You may have different versions of your guidelines document depending
on their relationship with your audience.

Brand guidelines create consistency in how your brand is
perceived, and help to avoid any potential public relations disasters caused by
a lack of information or communications for example, the infamous IEBC leaked
memo?

6. Identify where you
need to be
: As mentioned in step two, listening via a media monitoring
tool is an easy and effective way to learn where your audience is discovering
and sharing information online. Any additional data can be found when creating
your audience personas.

Make sure to make a list of all places you should have a
brand presence on or actively contributing to, including social networks,
forums, news sites, and blogs.

7. Build media
relationships
: An effective media monitoring tool will pick up any mention
of your brand name across online news outlets, blogs, forums, and social media.

By monitoring key terms related to your business, you can
also identify and reach out to journalists who would be interested in your
story, but have never heard of you.

8. Monitor what people
are saying
: Let’s not forget that the most important aspect of managing
a brand reputation is to know what people are saying about you.

Monitoring what happens around your brand will help you know
how your brand is being perceived and what corrective or proactive actions you
need to take to align what’s being said with your target brand image.

This is where media monitoring tool comes in handy. Be
proactive in monitoring for brand mentions and responding with valuable
information in a friendly, non-intrusive manner.

Management of Reputation

9. Avoid cyber bullying
other brands
: They say Karma will
always come back for you! Avoid attacking and criticizing other brands
negatively. Focus on your brand building and existence than hurling insults to
others. If it is a must you criticize a brand, use approachable words that will
be taken in lightly. In most cases, corrections with reference to where the mistake
was done will rank you highly in criticizing positively since you would helped
the growth of that particular brand.

10. Regulate your privacy
settings
: Most social media platforms allow you to set your account
according to your wants. For instance, Facebook has buttons one can set privacy
in different ways; either to allow tagging or not, to allow a friend to post on
your timeline or not, to allow your account to be visible to only you, friends
or the public among others. These privacy settings prevent destructive messages
about you or uninterested things from being posted on your wall.

11. Be human friendly,
approachable
: Be someone who can be approached. Sometimes your followers
would like to ask you questions or have a conversation with you. Will you
engage them? How about how you respond to them? Additionally, you can use a
profile photo that is captivating and welcoming so as to be aproachable.

12. Give honest answers
to your audience
: If you are dealing with products and services, ensure that
you give honest descriptions about them. Do not give false hopes that might
backfire after the users purchase and use your products. Honesty will build
trust and good relationship between you and you existing and new customers and
clients.

Furthermore, focus on having a transparent bio attached to
your profile. Are you what you say you are?

13. Create more
high-quality content
: Content is the most important. Be in control of what you
share. Is it interesting? How are you editing your texts? A good brand focuses
on high quality pictures. Do not always talk about you in your content, talk
about the people and how you and them as a collective can make something work.

14. Implement integrated
Search Engine Optimization to manage your reputation on search engine
: As a brand, many people will search about you to check on
your pictures, the news about you and your profile at large. Are you visible on
Google search engine for instance? How about the description you have given
yourself? Edit yourself on the search engines and create a brand name in all
the social media platforms you are in.

15. Personality
consistent
: Focus to be known by two or three things. Don’t be just
everywhere. If you are known to be posting fashion and beauty content, focus on
that. Additionally, your behavior and character should not be dwindling from
time to time. Make it consistent and admirable.

Wrapping it up

Now that you know what you want people to be saying about
you, how you want your brand to be presented and perceived, and whether or not
your stakeholders’ perception aligns with your goals, you can get to work on an
actionable communications strategy that will have you looking like the bell of
the ball in the cluster that is the Internet.

Done by Barraqueo and Janet Machuka

 

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