Many executives in the marketing role may be uneasy withthe thought of tying lack of brand messaging control to a great reputation among consumers and audience, but the fact that the social web enables brands to speak to a variety of different consumers - to the individual -- means that brand managers have to be comfortable with letting go and understanding what the audience is saying. Therein lies some very valuable information about the brand and the product. 

In this Guest blog post from Greg Coyle, Co-founder at Brandify. 

In recent years, it’s become increasingly difficult to monitor and manage your brand’s online presence, but you’re not alone. The emergence of digital and social media has resulted in a tremendous power shift in the marketplace. Today, your brand reputation is in the hands of your customers. In fact, market research firm BIA/Kelsey reports that 97 percent of consumers use online media to assist with the purchase decision process when researching businesses and products in their area. That is in addition to using social media to discuss, review and evaluate local businesses.

While you may not be able to control this conversation directly, you can participate in it and take steps to improve your company’s online reputation. Brandify.com, a free service sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark that monitors the Web and provides businesses with details and recommendations to boost their online presence, offers these three tips to engage in the digital and social marketplace:

  1. Identify and use key words in the content of your website and your blog. When consumers search for products and services, they enter words or phrases in a search engine. Those same words should appear in your online content to boost the position of your business in the search results. Be sure to use the terms your customers would choose, not necessarily your own industry lingo.
  2. Participate broadly in the major social networking sites where you and prospective customers can find each other. If you have a presence on Facebook and Twitter, that’s a great start. But your customers may participate in any of some 200 other social networks as well. Become active in the online communities most relevant to your offerings and your particular customers.
  3. Ask your best customers to post a review on social sites or write a testimonial for your website. Consumers place the most trust in their peers, so encourage your most loyal customers to share reviews and experiences with your business through “Share” buttons on Facebook, Twitter and Yelp, and search engine profiles like Yahoo and Bing Business Portal, among others.

Brandify.com scours the Web and reports your brand’s reputation as a score. It delivers clear insights into your business’s overall online and social media reputation, and offers advice on how to  improve your business’s online presence.

Your reputation is YOUR business, and it’s too important to leave to chance. Join the online conversation and help guide and shape your online presence to your benefit.

 Here's a video that better explains what Brandify does.

Social Amplification:

You can follow Brandify online

Handles: @GoBrandify 

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