(Photo by Randy Son Of Robert)
The following is a guest blog article by Liz King. If you are interested in guest blogging for Sound n' Sight, please read my guest blogging guidelines . And if you have any thoughts, please comment. Liz and I both would love to hear what you have to say!
I recently wrote a post called "My Rant: Why Your Customer Service Is Killing Your Business" where I aired my grievances about David's Bridal and many other little shops that don't understand that value of responding to their clients. After posting, I received many inquiries from event professionals and friends wondering if David's Bridal contacted me in response to my post. I have not, to date, heard anything from them.
Now, I'm not a delusional person thinking that the world is tuned into my tweets, but it did signal to me that they are not monitoring their brand. So many organizations are so focused on branding their organization - working with designers to create style guides, creating strategies for their social media accounts - that they completely forget about the brand that is being determined for them without their consent. There is one aspect of your brand that you don't have much control over and means more to your clients than anything you can plan - the image that is determined by your clients themselves.
To stay positive, let me give you a recent example of a company that was paying close attention to the aspect of their brand that is most important - Marriott World Center in Orlando, FL. I recently stayed there for a trip to speak at the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Prior to heading down, I tweeted that I would be staying there and wanted to set up a tweetup. I was immediately contacted by Zac Long, an Assistant Front Office Manager at Marriott World Center. He assured me that he would help me set up anything I needed and was responsive and friendly. The day before I left, he sent a tweet letting me know he was aware that it was my arrival day and that he was looking forward to having me stay there.
Upon check-in, I was informed that I was given a beautiful room that was larger than some others and overlooking the beautiful pool. I also noticed that they had set up a deal for 250 free Marriott Rewards Points if you check in on FourSquare. I worked with Zac while there to host a tweetup (where he provided space and free drinks) which helped me facilitate relationships with some great professionals. I was more than impressed by the way that they were engaging their guests and influencing their brand. The conversations we had focused not only on the conference, but on the hospitality and attentiveness of the hotel. What a great way to influence your brand! I've had countless conversations since returning about my stay there and how aware they were of the influence of social media. I've been more than impressed!
Lots of stories today, but I hope the point is clear - branding is as much about responding to your prospective and existing clients in a way that influences their perspective on your brand as it is about the things you present on social media and web about yourself. Stay tuned to what is being said about you and do your best to respond to each and every negative and positive claim so you can nurture the relationships that lay claim to your brand.
A Must Read on the Dominos Debacle and how they handled it. Take a look at the number of views that Dominos response video got vs. the original scandal video. I'm sure you'll see why their attention to social media has been very valuable in saving their brand.
Google Alerts - See my recent post on how Google Alerts can help you monitor your brand.
This website allows you to see the topics you tweet about the most. Why is this important? If your topics are all over the place, it makes it all the harder for people to find your value. Make it easy for people - and try to keep your focus to one or two main areas.
Search Twitter, Facebook, Google and other search engines for your company name, personal name, nicknames and mis-spellings.