ENTREPRENEURSHIP / APR. 06, 2014
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How to Audit your Company’s Brand Reputation

With the explosiveness of social media, companies are on a quest to manage their online brand reputation. If you own a business; whether on the Internet or offline, it is imperative that you manage your company’s reputation to see what others are saying.  There are several tasks that you must complete before you begin the process of auditing the brand reputation of your company.

The Groundwork

Prior to establishing your objectives for a campaign to manage your brand, there are some questions you need to consider such as:

  • How do you want people to view your brand?
  • What character traits do you want your target audience to associate with your brand?
  • Who are the customers you want to reach?
  • What actions do you seek from your customers?
  • Where on the Internet do want your brand to show up?

When you understand the target customer that you are trying to reach during your brand management campaign and where your brand needs to show up online, you will be better able to perform an audit more easily and faster.

The Audit

You should perform strategic minute by minute steps as follows:

Minute#1 – Do a search of your business on the major search engines such as Google and Yellow Page Directory. If your search results contain anything negative, you should try to respond directly to it with helpful information so you can set the record straight.

Minute#2 – Keep an eye on social media sites and search them to see if you can find your company name or product brands.

Minute#3 – Use Klout to measure how the public views your industry. This could simplify your search and provide branding opportunities.

Minute#4 – Type your personal name, company name and product brands in Google search engine. Sign up for Google Alters to get a head start.

Minute#5 – Evaluate your stats, which includes visitors to your website, accumulated social shares and likes on Facebook.

Follow Up the Audit

Once you have completed the audit, it is now time to do a follow up to see if your efforts paid off or not. You should have a general idea of your brand perception in your particular industry and target market. If the audit results are satisfactory to you, don’t take it for granted. Try to conduct an audit on a regular basis (1 to 2 weeks recommended) since the Internet is a continuous changing environment. If you found issues with your audit, you should immediately address them. Subsequently, you should try to manage your brand more closely.

Brand Management

Brand management is an ongoing process and can be quite time consuming, but necessary. Integrate specific strategies to manage your brand into your business model. One way to do this is to write regular press releases about your brand. You don’t have to wait for a product launch or specific announcement. There are companies that specialize in brand management. If you have the budget, by all means, do invest in this service.

Continue to improve your company’s brand to offset any negative feedback. If you find too many negative reviews and a lot of bad press, it is time to take a closer look at your company’s policies and procedures. You should also take strong corrective measures to remedy the situation such as off-page search engine optimization that promotes your company’s web site with encouraging brand comments in the SERPs.

By making continuous brand management an essential aspect of your company’s promotional plan, you’ll be able to have a strong online presence to counteract any future pitfalls, which will likely be obscured by the worth you have built overall.

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