Guest Post by Nitin Aggarwal
Introducing your company to the Internet is one thing, but what if the Internet attacks? That is precisely why it is important to have a set plan in place for brand management when it comes to your company’s presence online.
Let’s begin with social media, shall we?
It is an absolute must to have a presence for your company in social media if you want to succeed, yet you must also cover your bases by checking up on what other people are saying about you. This can be easily done through using the keyword search tool on Twitter. If you have not tried this tool before, it is found on the homepage of your profile, and it lets you search for specific keywords on Twitter to see what people are really talking about. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to regularly check up on your company, products, or even your own name through the search tool on Twitter. This will help you to discover if there is negative or positive publicity about you that you can potentially nip in the bud before it causes any problems.
From there, make sure that you also set up Google alerts for your name, your company, and your products to see where you appear online. Google will send you updates any time that your keywords or company name are found online, which will give you a better idea if there is positive or negative press circulating about you.
So what is a company to do if you find negative publicity about your brand?
One of the best resources to have on your side is in the submission of press releases. You can use a resource like PRWeb.com, where you pay to submit a press release about the latest news and happenings with your brand. Of course, this can be used for positive press to introduce a new product, event, or contest regarding your company, yet it can also be used to negate any bad press circulating about your brand online.
The reason for this is that Google temporarily favors press releases in the search engine results, so a brand-new press release will jump to the top of the rankings for a short time. This means that if other blogs or websites have written negative posts about your company, your positive press release on the same subject could potentially beat the negative posts in the search engine rankings. When a customer goes to search for your brand to find out more information, they will see the positive press release as opposed to any negative blog posts or tweets.
Furthermore, press releases are often picked up as soon as they are posted by a number of news websites. Posting a positive press release to clear up misconceptions or misinformation about your company will give you the opportunity to potentially circulate this news through other top websites if they repost the press release.
The point of the matter as a brand online is that you can’t expect to please everyone, but you do need to have a clear plan of attack if your web publicity starts to go awry. Let’s take the top brand Ann Taylor as a quick example. This past summer, Ann Taylor LOFT posted an advertising campaign on Facebook of a skinny, blonde, tall model, causing fans to complain that no one would look good in their clothing unless they were stick thin and beautiful. Due to this outcry from the fans, Ann Taylor reposted their advertising promotion for “real women”, using this negative backlash as a clever opportunity to turn around their marketing campaign.
So what can we learn from this advertising example? If you have your antenna tuned to what your customer demographic is saying in social media, and if you really listen and respond accordingly, you will be able to generate positive press and customer loyalty for your brand. This involves listening to what people say about your company, taking it into thoughtful consideration, and providing your own response online in the form of company changes or even a press release. As a side note, if you haven’t the first clue about how to write a solid press release to manage your brand online, check into an outsourcing company to do this for you. There are many top freelancers and journalistic professionals that make their money solely on writing press releases for companies, which would be a highly valuable investment if you want to manage your marketing campaign successfully online.