"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do."
If you’re building your business brand in today’s marketplace, you need to stand head and shoulders above the crowd of other businesses competing for your customers’ attention.
Furthermore, you need to track how effective your brand building is, by monitoring it closely and reacting accordingly.
Your brand could well be your most valuable business asset and can mean the difference between a lifetime of loyal and avid customers, or simply being lost in the crowd of other brand marketers on Facebook and Twitter.
Let’s look at five ways for you to measure and track your brand in today’s online world.
1. Are Your Fans Engaging With You?
Social media and the internet has changed the way we do business. Gone are the days when you marketed to your customers. These days marketing is a two way conversation, with social engagement taking place between the business and consumers. Relationships are built by being responsive to your customers needs.
A great example of fan engagement is the French telecommunications company, Orange, who used Twitter to engage their fans. Followers were asked to use the hashtag #thissummer to tweet about the plans they had for summer, which were then broadcast on Orange's blog, with a Voice Over. This had the twofold effect of both creating massive traffic, and enabling people to identify with Orange around an interesting and enjoyable topic.
2. How Much Real Value Are you Adding To The Conversation?
The content you offer needs to be the sort that people enjoy and encourages them to share with others, just like Healthy Choice did. They increased engagement with their followers, and gained an extra 10,000 fans by offering a low value Facebook coupon, which increased in value as their fan base grew. This not only reinforced their brand image with existing customers, but the majority of new fans also subscribed to their newsletter.
3. Are You Trying To Take More Than You're Giving?
Social media is about building a loyal and responsive following, by giving often, and taking infrequently. Think of it as a savings account. You must put in regular deposits, so you can reap the benefits when you need to make a withdrawal. Giving freely without asking for something in return will translate to massive positive response from your fans when you do decide to ask for something.
4. Are You Actually Listening To The Online Conversation?
Today’s customer is a powerful being, with the ability to impact your business in a matter of minutes. It’s therefore essential that you’re listening to the conversation that’s going on all around you, so you can respond to any negativity before it wreaks havoc with your business. Learn from U-Haul’s mistake, who suffered long term damage to their well established brand, as well as lost thousands of dollars, because of a negative conversation about them which they weren’t listening to. Even negative feedback can turn into a positive experience because it shows others that you’re concerned and responsive to their issues.
5. Is Your Website Active With Engagement, or Is It Silent And Stagnant?
Just having a website, no matter how flashy or attractive you think it is, simply isn’t enough anymore. Build it and they will come is an internet myth. Customers want to visit websites and blogs on which they can find interesting and engaging information, and which they want to bookmark and return to often because they look forward to your new content. A simple way to encourage your website visitors to engage with you is to end your articles and blog posts with a question that encourages the reader to respond.
What do you want most out of your marketing efforts?
One of the key things that Jim Collins empasizes in his classic management book “Good To Great” is to get the right people “on the bus.” He talks about company owners who know where they are going and how they are going to get there. He described that as “the bus” and that there are lots of seats that need to be filled on the bus.
He warns, though, that it is vitally important to get the right people in the right seats on the bus.
He wrote: “You are a bus driver. The bus, your company, is at a standstill, and it’s your job to get it going. You have to decide where you're going, how you're going to get there, and who's going with you.
Most people assume that great bus drivers (ie business leaders) immediately start the journey by announcing to the people on the bus where they're going—by setting a new direction or by articulating a fresh corporate vision.
In fact, leaders of companies that go from good to great start not with “where” but with “who.” They start by getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”
This is one of the most important steps in hiring a graphic designer. “Get the right person.”
While no one wants to spend more money than necessary, the price should not be the deciding factor. While geographical proximity can be a help for face-to-face meetings, that is less important every day with other forms of communication.
The key factor remains: Find a graphic designer who listens and grasps what you are about.
Your message is about so much more than simply describing the product you have to offer. Yes, it needs to include specific information but it is more important to weave the right message through the pages of your website, through the art on your business cards, through the way a reader responds to the whole package.
Remember: the companies that have been the most successful historically according to Collins, are the ones that focused on getting the right people on the bus.
You may be a small business that has just ventured into the world of social media marketing. You also have a great product and service. Do you know that you can market your product via social media marketing -- by blogging? While traditional ways still work, blogging is cheap and easy to do.
Well all know about Google, and whatever is listed on top wins this contest for that day. What’s the big deal with Google? Well, it’s because being listed at the top is free. Listing at the tippy top of search engines also mean a higher profit margin for your product and better business for you.
Blogging and article writing is a cheap, cost effective way to put your product or service in front of customers. It takes nothing more than your time or the time of someone you may hire to help keep up with the content. The big advantage of blogging is that it’s “organic,” which simply means that your product marketing via the blog stays in the search engines. This gives you free traffic on a constant basis.
Getting to the top of Google is a feat that anyone can do whether they are the largest company in the world or a tiny home-based business. All it takes is consistency and of course some understanding of your product. Blogging your product is a great alternative to traditional media, and if you get others to blog about your product, then you are really aiming for the top of the Google chart.