Whether you like it or not, content that is shared via social media has an effect on the company’s brand and image. As content creators and strategists, we should be able to stay on top of what comes out on our social media channels so that the brand is never endangered and the overall impression that consumers have of the brand is positive.
Goal: Positive Brand Perception
People should feel good about your brand for a number of reasons:
- They may have seen your website, logos and collaterals and think your image is professional and really high standard
- They may have read your content and perceive you to be thought leaders
- They may have interacted with your representatives and thought “These guys seem talented and great to work with”
That’s the ideal situation.
Reality: You Have No Control
Unfortunately, we do NOT have control over what goes out on the web. Get used to it. Every company has an army of possible social web participants who can post whatever they feel is useful for their specific audiences — and the army is made up of your employees. Thus your marketing team could be sharing links to recorded webinars, while your C-levels could be tweeting about the economy, while your rank and file could be complaining about their salaries. Ideally your social media policy covers all this in order to protect your company. But what the policy won’t cover is actually monitoring the quality of the stuff that’s out there.
Just the other day, doing some research over LinkedIn, I found someone who posted a two-year-old PowerPoint deck filled with cut-and-paste graphics as well as outdated messaging. It was customized by a salesperson and was never seen by the marketing department. He decided to put it up on SlideShare, giving the entire world access to something that was potentially harmful to the brand. Anyone who casually came across it might end up thinking: “Wow, this company doesn’t even know how to format a webinar deck. I wonder why I should bother doing business with them?”
Action: Get a System in Place
These are issues which every content strategist should have an answer to. You need a system in place to track and monitor all mentions of your company’s brand. It’s part and parcel of our job to be a content patroller who has the proper search terms keyed into your apps and alert software of choice, which are checked on a daily basis. And if there is some negative mention of the brand, there should be a system in place to escalate the issue to the right people.
Social Media Monitoring Tools
Check out these free social media monitoring tools:
You can also feed your Google Alerts into AlertRank, which is able to parse the search data and make it more useful to you by giving you context and ratings for each term. Tutorial: Google Alerts and AlertRank Tutorial.
SocialMention is another web-based app that lists any mentions of your brand on the social web. Plus it has sentiment ratings — whether the mention is positive, negative or neutral. Watch the video tutorial: How to use Social Mention to monitor your brand or business: Simple Social Media with Jay Rodriguez
Photo credits: “Yellow Gaze” by Fazen on Flickr.