We no longer live in a world of “set it and forget it” online marketing. It wasn’t long ago that when you created your company website it fully represented the company’s online brand image, and you had complete control over it. Once it was launched, all you had to do was maintain it, and your online marketing program was essentially set to auto-pilot.

Now, the web is a different place, where instead of static branded websites, users drive content from a much more dynamic “web” of interconnected social media sites, online review sites, blogs and message boards. Now “they” define your brand image as much as you do. Even if your company doesn’t yet participate in social media, there are countless websites that specialize in collecting “reviews.” Some popular examples include zagat.com, angieslist.com and tripadvisor.com. The result is high-speed word of mouth.

For this reason, it’s more important than ever to practice what you preach, providing the expected customer experience. No company can achieve perfection though, so you need to actively monitor and manage online forums and respond to any damaging statements in a carefully strategized way. There is also a bevy of opportunities in the challenging world of online image management, for those who are willing to devote the time and resources to capitalize on them.

We call this new practice “online trend management,” whereby we both promote and defend products, companies and ideas by keeping our pulse on online conversations. We monitor online news journals, industry blogs and topical message boards to capitalize on opportunities to participate in dialogue that pertains to a company’s industry, product and values. It is highly specialized work, an online networking of sorts, which can both protect and promote the company’s desired brand image.

Through online trend management, we can drive traffic to social media sites and blogs, maximizing SEO and generating sales leads. We can help meet customer service expectations by alerting business representatives to user questions and comments, and we sometimes can head off a communication crisis by addressing customer complaints. The scope of this work is virtually unlimited, and more important than ever, as people expand their interpersonal communication and interaction with brands online.

For a full list of our social media services visit http://prioritymarketing.com/services/socialmed/socialmed.html or give us a call at 239-267-2638!