Posts Tagged ‘online buying strategy analysis’

Social Media and Online Reputation Management. Are you managing the spread?

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Traditional PR is a still a useful method of communicating business story ideas to journalists. I’ve seen online PR truly come of age in 2009.

Business owners, marketing managers and individuals tasked with creating, communicating, managing and distributing company messages, news and offers, will increasingly become concerned with online reputation management in 2010, or so says the BBC in its broadcast this morning. The story did not go into great depth as to methods of how you can regularly manage your reputation online, apart from telling people they can ‘un-tagg’ themselves from Facebook images… but threw the anecdote out there to provoke thought, reaction and bloggers, just tucking into coffee and toast.

The story struck me as relevant to what I do day in day out. Sure, we like to build websites at intune, but we like to do so much more.

Since we seem to be running a web design, web development, search engine optimisation and online PR company, I’ve been advising clients for some time as to how to look their best online. How to take what is successful offline and transform it into an online identity, positive marketing and sales instigating conduit. Whether they have an existing website or a new online proposition; the internet, an environment which is a public and often permanent record of company and individuals is difficult to manage, but shouldn’t be overlooked when consumers, clients and business partners increasingly refer to reviews and testimonials on a myriad of article distribution, business and social networking sites before making informed choices.

People like to deal with people they like, companies they trust and purchase products and services that will bring value. That has never changed. What is noticeable however is the blurred boundary between entry and exit points of consumer research. TV commercials mention websites and websites reference offline publications. A user’s journey to the purchase can be provoked by any number of decisions in a multichannel advertising society.

The targeted keywords we counsel a new intune client on regarding searching engine marketing, are also important when considering managing communication with the media.

There is no longer much you can do to stop the viral spread of stories, negative or otherwise online. Gone are the days where stories can be pulled. There are sites, methods and tools online where we can regularly check to some degree where we are ‘tagged’ or reviewed, the keyword phrases associated with the review and either ‘un-tagg’ ourselves or write counter statements to set records straight.

Search engine optimisation companies are often focused on ‘back-linking’ to raise a website profile at the expense of making a business owner aware of other avenues to increased positive online exposure and sales. SEO companies are too often constrained with the mammoth task of carving out, managing and enhancing an identity online when competing on price. There is no reason however why a company cannot be made aware at least briefly in business break out session ‘in-house’ of online communication management, the benefits, the pitfalls and new online tools as they emerge. We can at least suggest putting some time aside as part of our SEO service level agreements?

When we receive a new client, as part of a needs analysis we assess all aspects of their online offering. It seems the best way to offer value added advice, training, web support and online business development.

We think it important to inform business owners on the nature and trends of the current ‘participatory web’ in their market and how their customers are creating, consuming, re-purposing and sharing information on preferred suppliers in their business area. In doing so we can illustrate that the online market is no longer about having control over your message or brand and increasingly about the importance of participating in the dialogue. Not fully understanding social media communities can result in brand damage rather than audience engagement. By providing in-house understanding we provide the business with the means by which to recognise their position and make an informed decision on their commitment to their online business development.

Experience leads us to believe there is no substitute for human contact whether it’s in person or via telephone and in the end technology only facilitates the unique selling points of a business or business owner in SME’s. Pr is about persuasion, but consumers are creatures of habit who appreciate transparency and honesty. We have never been in a better position with the online tools at hand to communicate with our audiences and with a pro active marketing and communications plan for the year we can set realistic, deliverable and measurable expectations, providing investment in the long-term viability of your business online.

Do you have a company voice online? Do you know what people are saying about your company, products and services online? Do you know how to manage your company’s online reputation in 2010? Would you like to learn? Give us a call and we’d be happy to assess, support and help you develop your business online.

We’re a great believer in transferable skills and provide online leadership and management training as well as all of the support you would expect from a full service web agency, so that you and your company can be in the very best position to grow in 2010.

About Intune

First there was traditional marketing and for a while it ruled, then came along digital marketing and it disrupted everything and got all the attention and now a powerful new marketing is emerging from the integration of online and offline channels, technologies and disciplines. Cutting edge development, insight, strategy and innovation are at the heart of intune, ushering in a new level of business performance from their base at GSPK Knaresborough Technology Park. Intune help their clients seize the high ground, position themselves within a multichannel era and generate significant new business with integrated solutions. Additional bespoke training and mentoring is provided alongside web design, development, marketing and hosting support to help clients take the lead in their field, analyse, optimise, socialise, engage and capitalise on their markets.


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