An effective public relations strategy is always a key factor in building a successful business, especially in today’s competitive marketplace and challenging economy. Whether you’re developing a public relations campaign for a new business venture or working to expand your strategy for an existing company, PR is essential in any industry. It is a key component of constructing credibility and spreading awareness in the most economic way possible.
PR gives the perception that your company is active and constantly moving forward. Occasional press releases are a great way to spread public awareness on any related events happening with your company overall, or for specific products or services. They can also be helpful if there is ever the need to manage a crisis happening within your industry. PR tends to be much more effective than other forms of marketing communications like advertising, especially when trying to relay an important message. You can publish press releases on your own website on your “news” or “press” page, or on your blog. This adds fresh, relevant content to your site on a regular basis, which helps boost your search engine ranking.
Working with a Public Relations professional, a professional writer or your own staff, it’s key to develop well-written material that is relevant to your business. This content can not only be used to draw in new customers, but can help establish your company’s credibility. Determining a target market and choosing appropriate and interesting topics for that market will give you a leg up in attracting new clients to your business. Press releases are one part of this strategy, but articles and blog posts are additional components that round out your PR plan. Public Relations professionals should be able to generate ideas for articles, or use your team to brainstorm creative angles to highlight your products or services.
Once you have a strategy in place for developing targeted content and press releases when appropriate, there are numerous online press distribution services that you can use for your press releases and articles. These services have amassed thousands of media sources for mass distributions, as well as allowing you to choose more targeted media lists based on industry, targeted demographics, topic, or location. For any given product or service, don’t just go for the obvious market. You should be able to identify multiple target markets to reach out to in order to take full advantage of your PR strategy.
Check back on our blog for specifics on press distribution services and more in upcoming posts.Read More
We are members of SEOMoz and they provide some really fabulous tools and information we use to constantly monitor our client’s Internet presence. Hats off SEOMoz on a great report! We just sent this report to client’s as a reference point for the services we provide. Read the full copy here: http://www.seomoz.org/seo-industry-survey
An excerpt from an article written for Hotel Executive: http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/2969/link-building-is-a-necessary-four-letter-word-for-positioning-on-the-internet
In addition to engaging in and monitoring social media, management also needs to worry about who will be responsible for social media. Naturally, this often falls on the marketing team, but should actually be an important part of other department responsibilities as well. The entire social media process leads to not only brand advocacy, customer relations and sales opportunity, but also recruitment opportunities, management issues, maintenance issues, and even additional business opportunities.
As an example, management may monitor social media overall while allowing each department to respond to their area of responsibility. Making departments responsible for addressing comments or concerns from customers or others who are interacting through social media fosters a mindset of responsibility within each area of business that can lead to stronger service across all areas of the company. For example,a hotel could effectively use their social media as follows: If a prospective guest posed questions about booking events or a block of rooms, it might be appropriate to have someone from group sales offer a personalized response. A review about the hotel restaurant from a guest would benefit from a response from someone overseeing social media specifically for the restaurant. Prospective guests seeing this type of attention to detail and direct response from the most relevant department would no doubt be impressed, while chances for repeat business from existing customers grows exponentially.
Management has to consider who will be responsible for being at the forefront of the brand for not only marketing and sales, but also HR, customer service, and all other facets of the business. Allowing multiple players in the posting, assessing responses and engagement can help bridge gaps and can often lead to bringing departments together to collaborate on customer service solutions as well.
Read the entire article written for Hotel Executive here: http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/2969/link-building-is-a-necessary-four-letter-word-for-positioning-on-the-internetRead More
With all of the information and integration involved in managing your online reputation, monitoring can become a problem. Without proper social media scrutiny and monitoring tools, the idea of watching multiple social media sites can overwhelm. Online reputation management, tracking, customer interaction and conversions from social media have added a vital responsibility to the already full plate of company management. Thankfully there is a full range of social monitoring tools available to track postings, provide feedback response and even deliver keyword data and conversion tracking.
Service providers offer free monitoring platforms such as Facebook Insights, Google Alerts, Twitter Search, YouTube, Yahoo Alerts, and many more. The free platforms are good, but don’t bring all the reviews, postings and ability to respond in a single, user-friendly platform. Many of the paid monitoring programs out on the market allow for social monitoring, engagement, response to reviews, analysis, assessment of credibility of the post/poster and have platforms for single and multiple properties. For the travel industry, these programs can bring in information from online travel review sites and pull the user-generated content into cohesive systems that allow for interaction, assessment and analysis. This monitoring alleviates the need for manual research that takes much too long and delivers only data from singular platforms.
The following is not a complete list of Social Media Monitoring tools, but lists some of the platforms available. Many may be customized to fit other platforms such as recruitment platforms, CRM’s and sales software programs.
|Review Analayst||New Brand Analytics||JIVE Software|
|Visible Intelligence||Review Pro||Crimsom Hexagon|
Each of these programs has its own unique platform and advantages and should be evaluated based on all aspects of management and marketing needs.
There are many platforms that can help manage your reputation by integrating customer sentiment and interaction and putting the information in a cohesive format. Social media monitoring has become one of the best places to determine management processes in relation to customer needs, department issues, recruitment, performance, customer engagement, competitor analysis, and ROI. More importantly, it allows management to play an active role in the customer experience and protect your carefully developed brand.Read More
Keeping up with the demands of an effective social media campaign does require effort, but when the task is taken on as a team, it can be rewarding for everyone involved. The goal is to manage your company’s online reputation, but if handled creatively, management may experience some unexpected benefits.
Management can use feedback and reviews from social media sites to award departments for great customer experiences or for improvements made. We have had several clients use reviews as a way to boost morale, provide rewards based on positive mentions, and enhance team work. Management has also used the rewards to encourage staff to promote and encourage customers to post reviews and “share” information across the customer’s networks. Getting more people to tweet content, respond to blogs, share blogs, share content on Facebook, post reviews and share information are all ways to help build your reputation. That’s why so many companies add “Social Sharing buttons” on their web sites, web pages, and blogs, but effort has to be made to encourage customers to share information as well.
A great way to get started in your social media rewards strategy is to “grade” your website utilizing HubSpot Marketing Grader (http://marketing.grader.com/) to assess status of social media and SEO. This free tool delves pretty deep into how a website and social media sites are performing from a customer interaction point of view.
While managing social media is serious business, don’t be afraid to have fun with it and get every employee involved in the mission to build a powerful, positive online reputation.Read More
One outcome of social media monitoring that is often overlooked is the ability to find trends, assess campaigns, find niche markets and discover potential opportunities within the customer language used on social media sites. After all, the new world of marketing these last few years is entirely based on customer language integrated into all aspects of business. For instance, one of our hotel clients that is “pet-friendly” discovered from a few reviews that customers were looking for pet sitting services while they went out for dinner. The hotel responded by offering this service for free and has built dog-friendly patio areas on some of their rooms. They then integrated this into their campaigns. Whether you are seeing indications that guests would enjoy a higher grade of in-room coffee, requests for extended fitness center hours or potential guests shopping around for certain types of services; patterns in social media interactions will allow management to track trends and decide what changes might be made to address the needs of customers.
Taking the language of customers and integrating it into marketing and sales pieces should be an important aspect of social media monitoring. Search Engine Optimization is based on customer language, so the trends found when monitoring social media can have a great benefit to marketing strategies. Using the most effective keywords will help steer more traffic to your sites and increase your online presence. Establishing every campaign using relevant customer keyword phrases allows the customer to find what they are looking for, but also allows the Search Engines to match the customer language/request with the corresponding site or campaign.
Obviously using online customer feedback is valuable when evaluating where changes need to be made within your business or products. Remember that only a customer can truly evaluate the experience of doing business with you. Although management may perform quality checks and staff evaluations, it’s important to be aware of what customers expect and whether or not you are meeting those expectations. Utilizing trends, sentiment and data from the social monitoring process can make management aware of issues and address them, make changes and develop improvements in all areas of the business from customer service, shipping, products or services.Read More