One of the best parts of online marketing is that anybody can say anything they want. One of the downsides of online marketing is that anybody can say anything they want. As you might imagine, it can be difficult when someone says something negative about your brand. As a marketer, you need to know how to handle the negativity.

We’ve worked with Clients who almost avoided the internet entirely because they were so terrified of the thought of people leaving bad reviews or comments.But here is the harsh truth: if people want to say something negative about your brand, they’re going to, regardless of your company’s online presence. If you are online, you can react and defend your brand. Done the right way, your company will look better than before thanks your professionalism and courtesy.

But how do you know when people are talking? How do you know if there’s an internet mob bashing your brand, your products, or even your employees?

First of all, your brand must have a presence on the major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube. People are already having conversations everyday about you, your brand, your competitors, etc. Why wouldn’t you want to see this? Wouldn’t it make you more effective if you knew exactly what your target market was thinking? Not only can you create buzz about your brand, you can address concerns in real time.  By already being on these platforms, you’re able to track your mentions with just a few clicks.

In fact, if you have not established your brand on social media yet, your troubles go beyond a negative comment or two. A previous Client came to us with a horrible situation on Facebook. The company had not created an official Facebook page, but a group of disgruntled ex-employees had set up a fake profile. The ex-employees used the fake page to post offensive content about the company. Thankfully, we stepped in and were able to get the page taken down quickly. However, if the Client had already had a Facebook page with content, engagement, and an established following, there would have been less need for damage control.

You should also set up Google Alerts for a list of keywords that immediately relate to your brand. Include your company name, CEO, top employees, location, and product names for starters. You may even want to set up an alert for your competitors.

Ignorance is not bliss. If you are not monitoring yourself online (both in general and on social media sites), you are putting your brand’s reputation (not to mention your own) at risk. Venture out into the world wide web—it’s not as frightening as it can seem. One of the reasons why we love online marketing so much is that the internet gives brands a voice just as it does for individuals.

Ready to protect your brand and join us on the web? At StartUp TakeOff, we understand the value of a strong team. We also know that finding the right people can be nerve-wracking and time-consuming, so we made it easy for our Clients. Choosing the wrong partners can be a costly misstep for any entrepreneur, which is why StartUp TakeOff’s founder, Stefani Thionnet, has assembled a diverse group of marketing experts from across the industry who will provide you with solutions that save you time and money. Our team of marketing industry veterans will get to know you and your brand so that we can provide solutions perfectly tailored to your needs. The best people often strike out on their own, but we’ve brought them together to get results you will love.

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