Not every business owner can answer the question ‘Am I generating enough buzz?’ in the affirmative. Much less the marketing managers they depend on to shape public perceptions of their brand.
Even beginning to exert control over the fearsome beast that is public opinion is a daunting prospect. All the more so in a competitive marketplace, where competitors abound and would-be customers have more choice than they know what to do with.
Don’t despair. This isn’t a problem that can or should be solved overnight. It demands a constant effort — one that’s best broken up into discrete projects or tasks that you or your team can tackle in a free hour or two.
You’ll find 10 such projects on the list below. Each is within your capabilities, no expertise required.
1. Follow 10 Influencers on LinkedIn Every Week
You won’t become a LinkedIn influencer overnight, or even next month. Honestly, it might never happen for you.
That’s okay. You don’t need to wield an army of captive followers to benefit from influencership. Merely associating yourself with LinkedIn luminaries could raise your profile. The trick is to walk the line between passive followership and nagging solicitude, the latter of which could get you unfollowed (or even blocked).
2. Claim Your Better Business Bureau Review Page
Your company most likely has a Better Business Bureau page, whether you know it or not. It’s on you to claim it before it sprouts complaints — founded or not — that ding your corporate image.
Looking for inspiration? The BBB page for Empire Medical Training, a leading trainer of aestheticians and cosmetic medicine providers, is an excellent example of a BBB page done right: informative, insightful, and uniformly positive.
3. Hold an Instagram Live Chat at Least Once Per Week (With Warning)
Instagram Live is a fantastic way to reach digital natives on their home turf. Even if your company’s audience isn’t disproportionately made up of under-30s, you need to be visible to this cohort.
4. Produce One YouTube Video Every Other Week
YouTube is immensely popular with your audience. That’s a fact.
How can we know this? Because YouTube is immensely popular with just about everyone. The Google-backed video megasite is one of the most popular websites in existence, period. Every dollar you invest in a collection of informative, buzzy YouTube videos is a dollar well-spent — at least, in comparison to lower-ROI marketing channels.
5. Tame Your Yelp Page
Like BBB, Yelp is an equal-opportunity business directory. Even if you’ve never given it a second thought, your company most likely has an unclaimed Yelp page sitting out there.
That unclaimed Yelp page could soon be the source of the wrong kind of buzz, if not already. The solution is simple: Claim your Yelp page, make sure the information on it is accurate, and learn how to attract and manage reviews that showcase your company in the best possible light.
6. Sign Up With a Social Media Scheduling Tool (And Actually Use It)
Social media marketing is essential for any business owner who’s serious about generating and managing buzz. But it’s not a very efficient enterprise. You have many more important things to do.
So does your social media marketing manager, honestly. That’s why social media scheduling tools exist — they take the tedium out of drafting, posting, and sharing social content. And you don’t lack for choice: Any of these candidates should work well for your team.
7. Create a Medium Account and Publish Blog Posts Frequently
Bother with your corporate blog if you must, but know that there’s a higher-visibility alternative waiting to be discovered. That alternative is Medium, a heavily trafficked site that’s almost guaranteed to rank on the first Google results page for your exact-match search term. Make Medium your primary blogging platform and you won’t need to work nearly so hard to drive traffic to your posts.
8. Refresh One Section of Your Corporate Website Each Week Until It’s Done
Medium can’t entirely replace your corporate website, of course. That’s still indispensable.
Whether it’s buzzworthy enough to compete in this day and age is another question. So, in the spirit of breaking daunting challenges into manageable tasks, try this on for size: Refreshing one section of your website each week until the entire site is new as can be.
9. Fact-Check Your Social Media Profiles
The indisputable details, at least: your corporate contact information, staff, and so on. While you’re at it, refresh your profile and background photos as well. Choose images that capture the spirit of your organization, the better to build buzz around your mission.
10. Apply to Contribute to High-Authority Outlets
We’re talking Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur: the websites you see over and over and over again high up in Google’s search results. They don’t give these contributorships to just anyone, but they don’t require a journalism degree either. And they’re a worthwhile prize: High-profile platforms to discuss the issues that matter most to you and your company.
Are You in Control of Your Company’s Buzz?
We’ll ask again: Are you in control of the buzz around your company? Confident enough to handle any situation the whims of your customers could possibly throw at you?
It’s likely that you don’t have an iron grip on the situation. And that’s okay — very few business owners do.
Scratch that: No business owners truly do. Managing public expectations is a work in progress. Even the best marketers and brand managers struggle each and every day to “win” the conversation.
But we’re just as confident that business owners and marketing managers who’ve successfully implemented the 10 strategies outlined above are in far better shape to deal with “buzz management” than those who’ve yet to begin.
So, enough with the excuses and the “we’ll do it tomorrow” attitude. You’ve got a brand to manage and buzz to control. It’s time to step up to the plate and begin building a public presence that stands the test of time. You’ve earned this.