Jun 15, 2008

You're Already Part of the Conversation

Silence may be golden but not for brands when it comes to their online image. Social media has opened a wellspring of conversation enabling users to criticize and commend virtually anything.. A savvy brand cannot do the equivalent of sticking its fingers in its ears and ignore what is being about it in the social media arena. Controlling brand image requires constant involvement in the online chatter. But there are some rules of the road to keep in mind before you set off down the information highway. The message is everything, so make sure everything is on message Getting your brand into the conversation is not something that should be done on the spur of the moment. Remember, whatever message your brand puts online can stay out there for a long time and be passed around from user to user.

Take the time to carefully plan out how your brand's messaging will sound and react to the input it receives, good or bad. Also make sure the message is being aimed at the right audience and in the right venues. Some social media sites and blogs will be more receptive to your brand and its message than others. Some research beforehand can make sure your brand's message falls on interested ears and not deaf ones.Be a good listener; be a better responder Your brand will encounter a wide range of responses when it sets up its social media presence. You'll meet a lot of happy customers but you're also bound to encounter users who are dissatisfied or worse with your brand. There's no way everyone will like your brand. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to they have to say. Sometimes a simple acknowledgement of a user's complaint helps improve their view of your brand. Listen to what users are saying, take what you hear, and use that to provide responses that can have a positive impact on your brand image. Adopt, adapt, and improve.Once your brand hits the blogosphere with its message, there will be a reaction by users to what you are saying. Respond to that response and adjust what your message to address the buzz that's being generated. Doing so properly will keep your brand on a course to positive vibes and not one that points it toward potential brand disaster. Remember that you brand is now a part of a conversation. A good conversationalist should be able to tell when they've misspoken or put their foot in their mouth. The key is being able to correct your mistake and steer your message and your brand in the right direction.Don't just do it. Keep doing it.Social media isn't a quick fix for brand image control. Once you start, prepare to be committed for the long haul. The conversation is ongoing. If you join it, be ready to stay. Abandoned blogs without recent postings make your brand appear uncommitted and disinterested. Sincerity is also a must as your deliver your brand message. Be straightforward with your intended audience and your brand will be the better for it.

Keeping your brand's image as pristine as possible via social media can be challenging and even overwhelming without the experience needed to understand the nuances and nature of this new means of reaching the public. Luckily, your brand can have access to the experience it needs for its social media brand campaign by working with LEAP. We have an experienced team that will work with your brand to help you understand the social media marketplace and successfully navigate its twists and turns. With LEAP as your partner, you won't lose control of your brand's reputation as it flies into the turbulent skies of social media.

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