9 tips for promoting and protecting your brand online [pt. 2]

3.    Establish a client feedback channel
Open up a feedback channel directly with your clients, prospects and business partners.  Make it easy for people to contact you via email or phone.  There are few things more annoying than endlessly searching a website for a company’s contact information or making your way through the maze of numbers to push in order to get to a human on the phone.

Creating forums, microsites or using customer feedback tools is a great way to allow your clients to give their input and communicate with them directly, so they know they are being heard.  Without such a platform, clients and business partners may be venting their frustrations about your company elsewhere on the web, in places you have no control over.

Below is a list of a few great tools for establishing client feedback channels.  All of them enable client feedback communities directly within an organization’s website or product.  Customers can submit ideas, suggestions or issues while the community comments and votes on the ideas.  Clients can be instantly notified of comments or when their idea or issue has been resolved.  All of these products are great and have different features to meet different organizational needs.

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4.    Choose the best social media resources to promote your brand online.
There are all kinds of social media resources to choose from and several staffing suppliers and hospitals are already using social media effectively.  Many tools are over-hyped and some won’t be relevant for your business or the healthcare staffing industry.  Much of your decision should be based on how you want to deliver your message and where you feel you will best reach your target audience.  Here is a list of several sites on which you can successfully promote your brand. 

  • Linkedin_petitLinkedIn is much more than your own personal online resume or a place to find potential employees.  LinkedIn now provides valuable information on companies.  Add your company (if it’s not already listed) so you can define and control the information and so others can find you.  You can also join or start groups on LinkedIn and start or participate in question/answer discussions. 
  • Facebook_petitCreating a Facebook page is another place to help define and control the message of your company.  Employees, business partners and clients can become “Fans” of your page, create discussions and share information.  You can feed news, articles and press releases directly into your page and create ads to promote your company directly to other targeted members of Facebook. It's also a great place to network and connect to clients and business partners.
  • Youtube_petitYouTube allows you to post and share videos online.  Video can be a great way to promote your company.  Creating videos can be time consuming and requires some equipment.  However, with a little creativity you can create great content and do so on the cheap with simple tools like a Flip video camera and Camtasia video editing software.
  • Flickr_petitFlickr is another way to visually promote your company on the web.  Flickr allows you to post pictures, create photo sets and network with others.  Posting pictures of clients, employees, company events, or your office life can go a long way to help add a human face to your business.
  • Digg_petit Digg
    allows you to post and share news articles, press releases, and other
    web links in an effort to spread positive information about your
    company and share relevant information with others.

  • Delicious_petit Delicious allows you to bookmark your favorite sites, news articles, other resources, etc. and share them with your network.

  • Medical Mingle is a great example of a professional social networking site
    specifically for people in the healthcare staffing industry.  Medical
    Mingle allows you to network with other recruiters, business and
    healthcare professionals.
  • Your website/Blog.  Don’t overlook your own locations on the web as being resources.  Having a website allows you to post information, press releases, articles, white papers and is typically the best place to promote your business and your brand.  There are also several ways to connect with others from your site or blog through contact forms, forums or by any of the several ways mentioned above.  Companies like Jive Software and Google Open Social allow you to create your own social networking platforms directly on your site.  Adding a blog is also a great way to consistently generate content and reach out to your followers.

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