Be vigilant about your brand identity online

This entry was posted in Social Media on by .

About Milind Mody

Milind is the founder - CEO of eBrandz, a professional SEO company in New York & India. Milind has been featured in various IT related magazines like Digit (Nov 2005) and BenefIT (Sep 2007). Milind also writes articles on Search Marketing in Popular Magazines like "Search Marketing Standard".

A peculiar problem can arise if proper social media monitoring is not done by a company to protect its brand identity online. Unfortunately, many of them are not alert enough about this aspect, which may create needless confusion in their customers’ minds. If the problem is not addressed in time, it can even affect the business credibility and loss of revenue.

One fine day when businessman Barry Schwartz logged on to his Twitter account, he found a series of messages awaiting him, all with a piece of unwelcome news – Someone was apparently impersonating his Web development company on the popular Social Network.

The owner of RustyBrick based in Suffern, N.Y., using the very name as his Twitter handle, was shocked to see that the impostor had created a profile with some tinkering of his brand’s name to follow the official contacts and clients.

Those, who were lured by the impostor, were carried to a link with a message quite reminiscent of spam: “Hey guys, you’ve to get this new ‘Twitter Success Guide’; it’s priceless!” Apparently Schwartz never had used Twitter for carrying sales promotion, and was understandably chagrined. The last thing he wanted was to have users believing that he was following them and that he was marketing any such guide. Thankfully, timely intervention defused an impending business crisis.

Constant monitoring on social media is a must

Even a well-established Web-based brand can easily fall prey to lack of proper social media monitoring. For example, hackers managed to exploit loopholes in Amazon.com’s vulnerable site, thus causing all titles by GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) writers to simply disappear.

In no time, thousands of Internet users on Facebook, Twitter, and other forums flocked to express their concern, thinking that the online retailer had deliberately made the GLBT authors unavailable. By the time it tried to explain the sudden glitch, Twitter users had created a hashtag ridiculing the site’s ineptitude.

To avoid such unsavoury situation, constant monitoring is a must. In other words, it is imperative that you remain vigilant about monitoring your company’s name and brand’s identity online.

There are a number of tools available to help you scan the Web, including popular social networks and online forums for peculiar mentions regarding your brand/services/products. Google Alerts, for example, will dispatch an e-mail whenever the relevant names get shown up in searches. Twitter search is another example of this.

Learn to distinguish you or your business from others

Creating unique and relevant content can greatly help to distinguish you or your business from others with a similar name. Post a series of informative blogs. Offer insight about your business domain. Build a detailed profile of her firm on LinkedIn, with recommendations from former colleagues and clients.

Make it a point to engage in a dynamic communication with your customers through discussion boards so that they recognize you and identify with you on Social Media.