Depending on the situation, this time of year is when a brand is either winding down or going full speed ahead to achieve a successful holiday season. As these last few weeks pass by, remember to take a step back and look at everything you and your company has accomplished. Celebrate the successes!
However, it is equally as essential to also analyze where improvements can be made. Now is the moment to make time to stop and reflect on what has happened. This activity can be done over the course of a few weeks, or you could sit down and list everything that comes to mind in one go. It is all about making the contemplation session as beneficial as possible!
FACTEUR PR has three areas to add to your to-do list, along with some questions to ask yourself that may help with the process.
Mission and Vision
Is your mission statement still accurate?
Who has your audience grown to include?
We are aware of the amazing growth that a business can have in just one year, particularly for small businesses that are still in those critical early building stages. It is necessary to pause and consider if the direction the company is going is still fully parallel to that of its mission. Compare the different aspects of growth to the elements of your mission statement and the values that accompany it. Though your brand’s mission may not be literally written out for your audience to see, having it for the team to refer to is undoubtedly helpful to stay on track. (Thinking you may need a reset button on that statement? Here is a great resource to help.)
Social Media Presence
Are you staying on-brand with the company’s aesthetics and voice?
How does the tone of your content adapt to seasonal/cultural/societal shifts?
Take note of what kinds of posts are best received and focus on those. Do this while keeping everything relevant, however. Just because everyone loves a cute puppy photo does not mean it should be utilized over a more relatable image. Content needs to have strong visuals and writing to provide customers with a well-rounded message. It also is important to observe how your target market utilizes social media. Are they actually moving away from Facebook and towards Pinterest? There are trends in not only products and ideas but how individuals access and share them. Don’t forget to keep an eye out! Not sure how to read your audience? Just ask them!
Do you have accessible avenues for consumer feedback?
Do you encourage follower promotion by re-sharing their content, or do you keep all promotional content in-house?
It can be challenging to balance staying true to oneself and following what the customer desires. Because of this, it is a good idea to keep a level of two-way communication. Whether you make a point of responding to followers’ comments and questions on your Instagram posts or have an easy option for leaving online reviews, allowing customers to share their thoughts provides them with a way to feel and be more connected. Also, welcoming images or media that have been created by customers, known as user generated content, can increase brand connections. Both of these improve brand loyalty. This in turn lets a company make more informed decisions moving forward.
As you may have noticed, each of these areas are intertwined with the next. How a customer can connect with your brand may often rely on your presence online. The company’s reputation of honesty and/or transparency for the consumer relies on the proper execution of its values through the various physical and digital avenues. This is why we advise for a brand, personal or professional, to unpack these elements at the end of the year to have a fresh, successful start to 2019!
Warmest holiday wishes - we can’t wait to see what is to come in the year ahead!