Who said that about me?

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You and your brand are online. Great! As you’ve learned, it’s more than just a matter of setting up a website and sending out a tweet or two. If you’re still thinking it is…this post is for you.

  1. Have a clearly defined brand persona. Do some legwork before getting started. Who are you trying to reach? How are you trying to reach them? How are you going to portray yourself? This will help in your messaging techniques and be the basis for your brand’s reputation.
  2. Invest time. Brand management is not releasing an animal into the wild. There is no “Poof! We’re done!” moment. Whether it’s a quick check-in every day or having a dedicated staff member to monitor the account at all times throughout the day, spend time on your efforts, both making conscious and smart choices and getting to know who makes up your community.
  3. Respond. Don’t just be a megaphone. With social media, “social” is in the name! You know how you hate being in a conversation with someone who won’t let you get a word in edgewise? It’s like that, but amplified across a large audience.
  4. Be informed. Aside from what people are saying on your social media accounts and through website contact forms, there’s WAY more Internet out there. Keeping up-to-date on brand conversation is as easy as doing a Google search (and setting up Google Alerts), checking out SocialMention, analyzing post sentiment and just generally making sure you know exactly what’s going on within your community.
  5. Be flexible. Sometimes, your great idea falls flat or your Facebook promotion doesn’t get the traction that you want. Fortunately, the Internet changes faster than you can autotune it, and you’re able to change your messaging based on crowd response (or lack of it). Sticking to something that doesn’t work “because the strategy says so” is a waste of time and money, and is essentially the equivalent of banging your head against the wall.
  6. Be positive. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to like you. Look at the less-than-positive comments as opportunities to improve. (Sidenote: Don’t delete those comments. It’s a surefire way to start unnecessary controversy and just make you look bad in general. The mark of a strong community is when other community users come to the defense of the brand with no prompting. When that happens, #urdoinitrite.) And of course, never attack anyone on your page. Be nice, be polite and be open to criticism.
  7. Use your brain. Common sense is not to be ignored. Sure, there are experts everywhere who say, “You have to build Facebook apps” and “You should be using Instagram,” but ultimately, you are the one that knows your brand. Don’t do something just because a so-called guru tells you so. I realize making this list makes me appear in this category, but if you don’t listen to anything else in this post, just listen to this: You know what works for your brand. You know who’s in your community. You know how you’re being perceived. Take all that information and USE IT.

Now go get managing!

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