Word of mouth has always been part of our communication patterns throughout history. Think back to a time when you turned to your friends at school to ask for dating advice. What should you wear to impress a guy on your first date, aged 15? Which shoes look best with your dress? Do you remember the first time someone told you to upgrade your old Nokia 3310 for an iPhone? An i-what, you asked, unsure what that new device would do for you. Word of mouth is a brilliant communication tool that is an integral part of a business marketing strategy. Online reviews, success stories, and advocate programs are some of the most effective ways of using word of mouth to promote your brand.
What you may not know, though, is that word of mouth can also be used to damage your brand. Fair and honest comments, even when they are negative, can be part of your improvement strategy. However, negative comments that are designed to harm your business should be monitored closely.
Control social media content about your brand
Social media is a platform that enables any user, whether individuals or brands, to create and share content. This content, however, should be regulated when it involves brand mentions from individuals outside the business. For instance, social media influencers can partner with a company to promote the brand as the marketing strategy sees fit. However, what influencers should not be doing is to defame a brand to support another. To protect your business, you may need to get in touch with experts, such as an influencer marketing lawyer, to figure out not only what you can do but also whether others are using your name fairly. Beware, however! You can’t ask individual users to remove a post that expresses their opinions if they are not part of a marketing campaign. A user is entitled to share a negative experience about your brand, as long as they’ve not been paid to do so.
Track SEO results and performance
Search engine marketing lets businesses focus on relevant search terms. These should include your brand name, service description, product names if applicable, and even open questions. You can build up your SEO strategy over time to observe positive results, such as brand mentions, content sharing, and increased visitor volumes. However, you need to be careful about your visitors and brand mentions. Indeed, take a look at this anti-Volkswagen website, which appears on top of searches for the brand. The blog author also links to the official Volkswagen site, which can lead to an increase in visits and search terms. But the anti-brand campaign can affect the SEO results for all the wrong reasons.
Spot fake reviews online
Do fake reviews exist? If you’re asking, you probably are unaware that anybody can write a review online. This includes not only previous customers but also competitors. If you spot negative reviews that you can’t match against existing customers, you should have these removed before they damage your brand reputation.
There could be a variety of reasons why people would spread lies about your brand. But, more often than not, a competitor is behind the false marketing content. Keeping your eyes open for suspicious content can help you avoid dramatic consequences.