From revenue generation to brand equity development, online activity is at the forefront of brand strategy and the need to control and safeguard your brand’s online assets has never been more critical.
In this post-digital world the value of having an online presence and using online social interaction to enhance the customer brand experience are undisputed.
Irish brands in particular have made significant leaps in embracing digital technology to widen their market reach and strengthen their brand voice.
Brands need to examine who is really in control of their online property, and analyze whether their online activity is meeting the goals of their brand strategy.
We spoke before about the dangers of misuse of social media on a brand’s reputation. However, by its very nature digital technology is evolving all the time and with it brings new challenges for brands looking to maximize their return on online investment together with mitigating any potential brand risks.
8 Online Mistakes that Puts Your Brand at Risk
1. Posting Automatically
Social Media Management tools certainly have their place and provide managers with some breathing space when it comes to updating social media posts. However, in order to maximize their effectiveness these tools should be used sparingly.
Customers who follow your brand on a variety of social media channels will become irritated rather than enriched if they see identical posts from a brand appearing on all communication channels. It can also be detrimental to your online strategy as Facebook may prevent your posts from appearing on newsfeeds if they decide that they appear ‘spammy’ as can be the case using social media management tools rather than your authentic unique voice.
2. Posting on Twitter or Facebook Without Comments
Many spammers or accounts that have been hacked will simply post links without the inclusion of comment or introduction. Brands who post images or web links without including some comment risk being blocked as spammers or reduce the likelihood of customers clicking the link for fear of virus exposure.
3. Websites are Not a One-Time Investment
Websites, like shop windows, need to be constantly refreshed and updated to reflect the changes in products, markets and customer needs. Your website is often a customers first interaction with your brand and therefore the management of your website should include a constant process of refining and optimization.
4. Ignoring Analytics
Tracking and analyzing the performance of your brand’s website and social media engagement is essential to ensure you are maximizing your ROI in these areas. Use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook insights, Twitter Counter and other such applications to track how your customers engage with your posts.
Which post sparked the most comments and shares? How long are customers spending on your website? What pages are they spending most time on and what pages are they ignoring? If you are investing time and resources on your brand’s online presence then make sure your activity is as effective as possible.
Align the analytics with your brand strategy goals. If certain elements are not working them drop them, re-evaluate, and if necessary re-structure, your communication approach.
5. Not Owning Essential Brand Assets
Your website and its domain name are valuable brand assets. Protecting them from competitors and fraudulent entities should be a priority. Make sure you brand’s domain names are registered to your business and not to your web developer or another third party. Keep a back up copy of any custom web design work. Relationships between your company and the web developer may come under strain and it is crucial that your brand is safeguarded and that your assets stay in the control of your company.
6. Not Protecting Your Intellectual Property
Just because your business has registered its name or the brand name does not mean that it is entitled to the matching domain name. If you have the brandname.com domain name for your brand, there is nothing stopping others from registering brandname.ie, brandname.co.uk etc. Buying and registering your company’s brand name across a variety of domains will protect your brand from potential large costs should third parties register alternative domains and force you to pay high prices to buy control of them.
7. Facebook Pages – Who Owns What?
Most brand Facebook pages are linked to the personal Facebook profile of someone within the company. Make sure that the page owner is also a senior member of the company management team/board and that more than one person has administration control of the brand Facebook page to safeguard against potential issues that may arise with the social media community manager. You also need to manage the level of administrative rights granted to your social media team members and safeguard your brand against the potential departure of a disgruntled employee who has administrative access to your account. Take inventory of every page your company owns, identify pages that may be set up by fans or other third party and monitor these pages consistently.
8. Leaving Online Content Control to One Person
Social media should be a team effort within your company. No one person can truly represent the brand voice and have the answer to all queries. Brand leaders, managers, front-line staff, strategists, web developers etc should all play a role in creating online content for the brand. Their collective input and combined knowledge means that, as a team, they are best equipped to optimize social media interaction and maximize the brand experience for your customers. It also means you mitigate risk if a key team member leaves your organisation.
Embrace and leverage your online activities to grow your brand engagements and relationships positively but always underpin those activities with a well thought out and executed brand strategy. Ensure your social mediea activities are congruent with your core brand values and what your brand stands for. Be consistent in your level of online activity, respect good practises and social media etiquette and you will see your brand benefit and grow over time.
Does your company have full control of its online and intellectual property?
Is the online element of your brand strategy maximizing your ROI?
Do you track and analyze your online activity and adapt your brand strategy accordingly?