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Whether you’re part of a successful and well established company or you are helping to market a small startup – the pressure is on for you to deliver measureable marketing results. In a particularly challenging financial climate, the pressure is even more intense – it’s essential that every cent is used wisely, as marketing budgets are continually being cut in an effort to save further costs. Every marketing action must be analyzed thoroughly before implementation, and the estimated ROI for your business must be calculated before a marketing process is implemented.
Due to these budget cuts and stricter measures, more focus is often dedicated to social networking marketing techniques. With an array of top-performing sites now available (for example; Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter), emphasis may be placed on the building of free online profiles. Certainly, if the statistics are correct, social networking can now offer an incredible ROI for the majority of businesses. However, as with any marketing endeavor, the effectiveness of a company’s customer service and reputation management will also come into question.
In recent years, increasing numbers of companies are creating new marketing initiatives to monitor and control their online reputations. Whatever sector your business trades in, the generation of any such measures is vital. The formulation of a great online reputation can be key to the ongoing success of a business, and with the correct implementation, the process can be undertaken at a relatively small cost to your business.
Social networking can be a great way to raise awareness about a product, brand or company, but bad feedback, along with good, will be circulated throughout a wider audience, so it’s essential to keep track of what the online community is saying about you and your business. In today’s tough climate, the delivery of just a great product is no longer sufficient – your customer service procedures must also be top-notch. Customers are now looking for a brand that they can trust, and they are willing to offer their loyalty to the right company in return.
This is where testimonials come in. If an individual or company rates your services highly – they will often be willing to leave feedback in the form of an online testimonial. The Internet is now full of reviews about companies and their products, and as users are bombarded with a larger amount of choice, they will turn to these reviews for guidance. Testimonials can serve as a highly effective marketing tool – and in some cases, can work better than even the most expensive TV commercial or leafleting campaigns.
Of course, in an environment where collaboration is more widespread, even leading companies will receive the occasional bad review – however, it’s important to ensure that you use any such feedback to help build your processes, thus potentially avoiding similar issues in the future. It’s also good to communicate your responses to the public i.e. if you are working to improve an area of your customer service, let people know – this can help to generate trust in your brand.
It’s a great idea to dedicate a small amount of time each day or week to search the Internet for any negative reviews, articles or blogs about your company. If possible, leave constructive and useful comments (i.e. in the case of blogs or social networking interactions). This shows that you care about the reputation of your company, and that you are working to fix any issues that have been identified. Don’t forget to also recognize the good comments and reviews about your company– a simple thank-you can go a long way with your customers, and it will go a long way to improving the online reputation of your business.