Using the Brandify Competitor Dashboard

The Brandify Competitor Dashboard lets you to monitor and compare the strength of your online brand against that of your closest local or national competitors. See where they’re getting traction on social media, what keywords drive visitors to their website, when they are mentioned in articles or blog posts, and what customers are saying about their services on Yelp!, TripAdvisor, and others.

Using the Brandify Competitor Dashboard requires signing up for a Brandify account. You can sign up for a free trial here, otherwise email us at info@brandify.com or give us a ring at (877) 630-4920. We’d love to chat!

Getting Started

To start using the Competitor Dashboard, you must first specify up to 3 competitors for local brands and 5 for National Brands. You enter this information when you first navigate to the Competitor page, found under the Insights Menu on your left navigation bar. For each competitor you need to enter the business name and their website address.

Once you’ve submitted your competitor list, you’ll receive an email notification within 24 hours when the Competitor Dashboard becomes active.

Important Tip!

Once you’ve submitted your competitor list, be sure to link your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other accounts your business may have. We cannot retrieve competitor data from Twitter or LinkedIn if you have not attached your own Twitter or LinkedIn accounts to your Brandify Profile. In case you do not have a Twitter or LinkedIn account but suspect your competitors might, then you need just authenticate with Twitter and LinkedIn and skip the search and attach profile step.

Using the Competitor Dashboard

When your Competitor Dashboard has been enabled, your Brandify Profile is refreshed daily rather than weekly. This means that each morning when you login to Brandify, you will see fresh data for your business and for your competitors to give you the most up-to-date insights on a daily basis.

Once you’ve received the email notification saying that your Dashboard is ready, login to your Brandify account and navigate to your new Competitor Dashboard. Competitor data is displayed in two locations:

  1. Insights | Search
    If your company is a national brand, you will now have a tab at the top of your search insights page for your own business as well as for each of your competitors. This will enable you to quickly see the search traffic your competitors’ websites are receiving and what organic or purchased keywords are generating this traffic.Brandify Insights
  2. Insights | Competitors
    The Competitors Insights page is where we display most of the statistics and data relating to your competitors. You will see four tabs, each containing different information relating to the online behavior of you and your competitors

Navigating the Competitor Dashboard

Brandify Tab Setup

Summary Tab
The Summary tab contains a quick overview of how you have been performing vs. your competitors across some key metrics. You can view this data over a time span of twenty-four hours, seven days, or thirty days. The seven day summary view will not contain a complete set of data until it has been seven days since your dashboard has been activated, and likewise for the thirty day view.

Analytics Tab
The Analytics tab is perhaps the most powerful tab on the dashboard. You can display a variety of different metrics on each business, sort those metrics depending on what you want to compare, and measure how your own business performs across each data set. To configure the Analytics tab, you’ll need to first choose which metrics to display by clicking on the “Configure Analytics” link on the top right of the page.

Social Tab
The Social tab displays the most recent social media updates posted by your competitors. The default view shows a single row for each competitor that you can expand to view each competitor’s recent updates on Facebook and Twitter.

News Tab
This tab is only available on the National Brand plan. It displays the most recent mentions of your competitors in articles and blogs across the web so you can keep track of what’s being written about your rivals in the media.

Reviews Tab
This tab is only available in the Local plan. It displays a list of consolidated reviews across all your competitors for either the last 7 or 30 days. You can search the Reviews tab for any keywords or comments you wish to focus on.

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Using Check Ins to Boost Engagement and Reward Loyal Customers

4sq-check-in-hereLocation-based social networking applications are creating new marketing channels and increasing customer engagement through what are known as check ins.

When your customers visit your place of business, they can check in to your location using Foursquare, Facebook, Twitter, and a host of other apps that let people tag their current location. The people in their network can see that location and additionally find more about your store by navigating through the application.

Think about all the times that someone checks in to a location and attaches a picture or status update about what they’re doing. You see this not only on Foursquare, but also Instagram and Google+. These check ins are broadcast to their entire network, letting scores of people see your store or office on the map and get directions at the swipe of a finger.

You should already have a profile on most of these networks, but did you know how to make the most out of your customers’ check ins to your location? No matter the app or service, there are some general things you can do to use check ins to your benefit while providing even better services for your customers.

Gamification

In Foursquare, checking in is part of a game where friends compete to become the “mayor” of any given location. In fact, the more times you check in, the more badges you receive that act as your rank depending on how many times you’ve checked in to a location, both in total and relative to your friends.

Overall, check ins are supposed to be fun little shout outs to someone’s location. You’ll notice early on that Foursquare is especially playful, so figure out how your business can enter the conversation depending on your industry and location.

Customer Rewards

The gamification of checking in encourages people not only to stop by one or two extra times to become mayor, but it allows for people to gain badges each time they check in to a new location. You can use these badges to reward loyal customers for returning back to your store.

Customer rewards are one of the most important ways to build engagement using check ins. You can reward people on a sliding scale, so that the most loyal customers receive generous benefits while new customers receive promotions to encourage their return.

Socialize

Check ins are inherently social. Tagging one’s location on Facebook or Instagram has become pretty second-nature at this point. As a small business owner, you have to stay on top of who’s checking in to your location and respond either on- or offline.

When you see people complimenting your space, set up a reward on Foursquare for them. If others are criticizing your business, make sure you have a response ready and address the situation. Check ins work on a social level, and that’s why they’re so important to your social marketing strategy.

As always, check ins are only one prong on the trident in your toolbox. Find out how your business can maximize customer engagement with your online brand by signing up for a free trial of Brandify to start receiving recommendations on everything from social media to your website to your online listings. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your bottom line.

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The Three Ways a Logo Helps Your Business Online

Lots of logos in a large arrayWhen it comes to the web, choosing a logo is about as important as choosing where to put it. That’s because your online reputation depends on how well you’ve built up and maintained your various online profiles. Whether it’s your social media accounts, website, or blog, having a unified message means putting the same logo on each to reinforce your brand’s visual identity and strengthen your online presence.

Just as important, however, is a logo’s ability to increase your SEO. In fact, all of the graphics on your website are indexed by search engines, so implementing the same logo across all of your online accounts lets search engines connect the dots to your brand and boost your search engine rank.

[Note: Signing up for a free trial of Brandify will allow you to connect all the dots and then some. Having a solid logo is one thing, but integrating it with your online brand requires the 360 degree view of your brand that only Brandify can provide. Email us at info@brandify.com or give us a ring at (877) 630-4920 with any questions you may have about the service.]

Visual Identity

There’s no set of rules that says how you should or should not design your company’s logo. The most important thing is to design with both the real-world and the web in mind. Don’t make a logo that can’t be reproduced on stationary, and similarly don’t utilize a design that looks great for the neon sign in your window, but fails to translate on your website. It’s all about coming up with one simple design that encapsulates your brand on a visual level, giving your customers a reference point when they travel from your Facebook page to your website, or vice versa.

Social Media

You have to put your logo on all of your social media accounts, preferably in the main profile picture that accompanies each. On Facebook, this is the square window on the upper left hand side of your business page, just in front of your banner. If you haven’t put your logo on each of your social media accounts, then you should do so now. Otherwise, you’re giving your customers a bad first impression of your business that lacks the visual oomph required of social media.

All of your social media accounts should have the same logo, similar color schemes, and a unified image. When customers navigate from one of your social media accounts to the next, it can be downright confusing if you’ve got different logos on each page. Not only does it look more professional, it also reinforces the visual identity that you want to convey and helps customers recall your brand based on images alone.

Logos for Search

Images are vibrant, but you don’t have to tell search engines about it. That’s because they already know how important logos and graphics are to how they organize their search results. Getting your logo online and spread out across different accounts helps search engines rank those individual pages while at the same time understanding the connections among your different accounts and websites.

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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Staying Active on Social Media

facebook_twitter_knowledgeIt’s all about activity. That’s the message you should keep in mind when maintaining your social media accounts. If you’ve created a page for your business on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, then you’re well aware of the vibrant community that each has to offer.

If you’ve set up your social media accounts, then it’s a must to use those accounts on a regular basis. One of the major mistakes that small business owners make on social media is that they neglect to update or post anything to their accounts. This amounts to social neglect: not only are you failing to engage with your customers, you’re actively harming your brand by making it look as though you don’t know how to use social media!

Trying to stay active on social media can be a bit overwhelming. It helps to have a plan to that keeps you on top of your social media duties and provides the maximum amount of value to your online community. The following is a rundown of what you need to be doing and the tools you can use to stay active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Keep it Simple

Don’t start off with some complex strategy that keeps you hopping from one social network to the next. Having a simple message means writing a blog post or finding an article that will really appeal to your customers and then posting that one message to your different accounts.

You can tailor the message to each network, e.g., keeping it short and sweet on Twitter vs. a adopting a business-like tone on LinkedIn. The goal is to present a unified message to all of your customers, no matter where they connect with you. That means there won’t be any surprises for customers that go from your Twitter page to your Google+ page, which keeps them focused and drives conversions.

Schedule Posts in Advance

Scheduling posts using Brandify’s publishing dashboard is an easy way to make sure that your accounts are automatically updated with new content from week to week. Scheduling multiple posts at once also helps in keeping your message focused because you can plan out a narrative for your customers to engage with over time.

One of the common mistakes when scheduling posts in advance is forgetting to check up on your social media pages and see the customer response! Posting status updates is only the start. You’ve got to remember to see what people are saying and who’s spreading the message whenever your posts go live.

Less is More

Social media is noisy and there’s not much you can do about it. The answer to this problem will not only make your message stand out, but it will also make your life so much easier. That’s because you don’t need to be posting updates all the time. It’s easy to think that the most influential users of social media are also the most prolific, but the reality is quite different.

When you barrage your followers with updates throughout the day, it ends up watering down your message. It’s fine to respond to customers on a case-by-case basis, but when you start posting articles or other content every five minutes, it becomes impossible to tell what’s important and what’s just there to fill space.

Your social media followers will appreciate the lack of noise coming from your account and will see greater value in your posts.

Staying active on social media requires actively monitoring your social media assets. Sign up today for a free trial of Brandify to see how our service can help you manage your social media accounts, online listings, and online presence.

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How to Get More Facebook Likes & Followers Without Buying Ads

facebookThere are tons of articles and debates about the most effective Facebook strategies for small business owners, but they’re all useless if you don’t have any likes or followers of your Facebook page!

Followers form the base of customer engagement on Facebook. Likes can be seen as a measure of that engagement. It makes sense that before you can truly take advantage of your Facebook presence, you’ve got to get a lot of people following your page and liking your updates.

The question, then, is how do you get more followers and likes? There is no single answer, but rather, there are a number of things that you must do to maximize the followers of your Facebook page and get more likes.

In the end, the best Facebook strategies are self-reinforcing. As more people like your posts, the more likes and followers you’ll receive as they spread the message across their network. That’s why it’s so important to get more likes and followers: not only do they boost engagement among your existing customers, but they also lead to new customers!

Spread the Word

For most businesses, getting followers is simply a matter of letting your customers know you have a Facebook page. That means linking to your Facebook page from your website and cross-referencing Facebook posts or events on Twitter, Pinterest, or Google+. You’d be surprised how many individuals follow one account but not the other, the only reason being they never knew about the other account in the first place! Spreading the word about your Facebook (and other social media accounts) is easy, free, and necessary for increasing likes and followers.

Content is King

Posting really good content is actually much harder than it sounds. This means doing more than just re-posting lists about this, that, or the other. One of the ways to think about good content is “does this truly give value to my customers/followers?” This essentially gives them an actual reason for liking you. When your followers receive value from your posts, they’ll be more likely to share that information with their own network, which in turn helps build your likes and followers even more.

Stay Active & Open For Business

Having active social media accounts increases your followers in two ways:  first, it gives more opportunities for people to share your content with their network, thus leading back to your Facebook page; and second, it broadcasts to your customers that you have an active interest in providing timely updates and cool tidbits about your industry.

All too often, small business owners set up social media accounts that they never end up using. These non-active accounts end up doing even more harm than if you didn’t set them up to begin with because they can confuse your customers into thinking that they’ve arrived at the wrong location. This is akin to someone driving around looking for your store, and they come across a building with shuttered windows, a rusted sign, and no employees in sight. Maintaining an active Facebook page helps show that you ARE open for business and ready for some more Likes.

Likes and followers are one thing, but if you aren’t monitoring your social media accounts in one place, then it’s kind of like playing three different games of whack-a-mole in three different rooms. Consolidate your social media accounts in one place and receive a 360 degree view of your online brand by signing up for a free trial of Brandify today. Get the most out of your online presence and reach more customers with one of Brandify’s premium plans tailored to your business. You’ll be glad you did, and so will your bottom line!.

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