Protecting your brand online is crucial to continued success, and experts in this area have different advice about how to preserve the reputation of your business in the digital arena. Here are just a few strategies that you should consider adopting.
Track Brand Mentions
Lukas Duszynski, Marketing Manager at Military 1st, suggests that protecting your brand online comes down to monitoring mentions using Google Alerts and staying on top of the conversations that are being had about your business.
This same approach is recommended by Ben Taylor, founder of homeworkingclub.com. He says “By keeping an eye on the alerts, brands are quickly alerted to new press mentions and reviews – both good and bad, putting them in a position to respond as necessary.”
Tracking brand mentions can also have an impact when it comes to preventing copyright infringement and the misuse of your intellectual property, according to cybersecurity and consumer privacy expert Julie Hales of VPNPro.com. If issues are detected, she points out that “The tools at brand owners’ disposal include cease & desist letters to website registrants or ISPs, complaints to marketplaces, and so on.”
In addition to looking out for how your own brand is performing, it is a good idea to see what competitors are up to with the same solutions. Sean Dawes of ModdedEuros.com thinks that “Monitoring not only your brand but your competitors brand is key in the current market.” This applies not only to search engines but also social media.
A proactive approach to tackling negative reviews of your brand is sensible if you encounter customer complaints as part of your mention-tracking activities. Nextiva CMO Yaniv Masjedi says that by engaging directly with disgruntled people it is possible to win them back over and avoid losing a loyal customer for good.
Have A Backup plan
When your brand is hit with a reputational crisis, most specialists believe that it pays to be prepared for these worst-case scenarios ahead of time. Nate Masterson of Maple Holistics suggests that getting reputation insurance is a good move that will help to cope with the costs associated with recovering from a catastrophe of this kind.
Atlantic.net VP of Marketing Adnan Raja concurs with this point of view, pointing out that “Coverage can include reimbursement for ransomware attacks [and] compensation of loss of income or earnings due to costly cyber breaches.”
There are other steps required to cope with the fallout of a security breach that negatively impacts your brand’s reputation, with Ian McClarty of PhoenixNAP Global IT Services suggesting that a plan of action must be laid out well in advance of this kind of dilemma. Waiting until after an attack is the worst possible option since if you are not prepared, your brand and business will suffer much more acutely.
Use Social Media
Paying attention to your brand’s reputation on social media is incredibly important, as Katherine Rowland of YourParkingSpace.co.uk identifies. She rightly asserts that “It can take a company years to establish a good reputation, and only minutes to destroy it, and as a result, smaller businesses need to constantly be mindful of how social media can effect their brands name.”
There are a number of ways to do this, with Baruch College’s Professor Robb Hecht suggesting that the use of monitoring tools that include machine learning can make it much easier for brands to track and respond to every instance of their name being mentioned on platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Director of Marketing at SEO.com Raquelle Dickerson is a firm believer in the idea that a more personal approach is needed to steward your brand through the choppy waters of social media. She says that it is best to “make each customer feel like they are the only customer” rather than dealing with comments and complaints in a generic way.
Succeeding in the social sphere also requires that brands generate a lot of content, which in turn can help to push down any of the negative comments that might be generated, making them less visible. This is the suggestion of Paige Arnof-Fenn, founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls.
Other Thoughts On Brand Protection
Even with these tricks up your sleeve, there are still a lot of challenges that must be overcome and ways of thinking to adopt before you can make real efforts to protect your brand online.
John Frigo of MySupplementStore.com reveals the fact that it is impossible to guarantee that your brand’s IP will be completely impervious to misuse or infringement. With this inevitability in mind, he suggests that “what you can do is be innovative and create a strong brand to where people want to do business with you and your brand and actively take steps to make sure they are doing so.”
Collaborating with other brands and influencers is another powerful tool that can allow companies to shape their own narrative rather than being forced to always react to aspects of having an online presence that is out of their control. Reuben Yonatan of GetVOIP sees working with partners to spread positive messages about your brand as being the most logical and impactful move to make.
Employee training is also worth considering in the context of protecting your brand and ensuring that its reputation is maintained in an ever-shifting social media sphere. Brandon Schroth of Gillware Data Recovery thinks that teaching members of staff about the best practices for representing your brand online is not enough on its own; you also need to incentivize the act of adhering to these rules. He points out that “There are three incentives that motivate most employees – money, time off work, and free food. With a combination of all three, you can create a captivating training experience.”
Clearly, there is a lot to take in when it comes to protecting your brand online. Certain strategies will work better for some organizations than they do for others, but in general, it seems sensible to take onboard as many pieces of advice as possible.
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