Social media reputation management benefits brands in every industry, especially now that consumers heavily rely on the Internet for information. Customers base their purchasing decisions on a business’s online reputation than on its advertising, direct mail messages, or promotional materials.
Online reputation for your brand consists of your website and marketing communications. Still, external sources – such as social media – can be vitally important in enhancing your brand’s reputation and creating new customer relationships.
Traditionally, social media reputation management consisted of posting and monitoring strategic content on social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and responding to consumer comments on those channels.
Those strategies are still used in current social media reputation management strategies. Still, there is even more digital ground to cover: review sites, local directories, and business discovery apps provide opportunities for customers to leave feedback about a business. As long as your reputation management team follows the same goal, your brand is still positive in the minds of consumers.
Here are a few questions we can answer about reputation management:
- What is the best method of reputation management in social media?
- How can you promote your own reputation?
- Should you hire a reputation management firm?
- What are reputation management agencies, and how are they different from what you can do yourself?
- How do you manage what is on your social media profile?
- How should you respond to criticism on social media?
- Do you have to respond to criticism?
- Can you block social media accounts that bother you?
- Is reputation management really just asking for it?
Reputation management in social media includes the strategies you can use to promote your personal brand and improve the perceived positive reputation you already have. When you’re working on your reputation on social media, you need to be realistic.
Remember that your appearance online is out there for everyone to see. So if you’re going to appear online in any capacity, you have to be a bit careful.
Focus on a few high-value activities and use a few tools to accomplish them.
Avoid engaging in distracting activity on social media and using a few low-cost but effective tools to build a small following and create buzz for your social media accounts. For example, several apps allow you to easily broadcast your live video to multiple social media networks at once.
Several tools allow you to create virtual businesses. For example, you can create a business profile that asks people to take an honest survey or a profile that allows you to build custom badges.
These are all low-cost and relatively easy to use, and they can help to build a reputation. It may not be as useful for large businesses, but it can be useful for smaller businesses.
No matter how good your intentions are, your online reputation will likely be shaped by people who aren’t very professional and are just looking to make trouble.
When you’re interacting online in a public forum, you have to be cognizant of the fact that some people are not going to have your best interests in mind. As such, you need to be honest and transparent.
Create an online profile that is the truest representation of who you are as an individual. For example, if you’re a hairstylist, make sure that when you’re running your name through a search engine, it says “hairstylist,” not “hairdresser.”
It’s pretty easy to do. If you have some extra time, create a profile on LinkedIn and post a picture of yourself at work. If you don’t already have one, start using something like Lookbook and post honest and real pictures.
If you’re going to engage in activities that might be construed as offensive, such as posting racist or hate-filled posts, then you need to be willing to suffer the consequences of being considered a bad person. People are going to be upset by what you post online.
The good news is, if you’re trying to establish a reputation as a reputable business, you’re still likely to be fairly successful. As such, it’s more important to be considerate about your content.
Treat others as you would like to be treated, and be considerate of how you treat other people. The moral of the story is that there will always be people out there who hate you and want to bring you down.
So be sure to remain classy.
The business and social media landscape
Business owners today face tough decisions when it comes to social media. Social media is a cost-effective way for businesses to promote their business online, but at the same time, the same level of professionalism is expected from the public.
Social media provides opportunities for businesses to enhance their brand image and create a customer-friendly atmosphere, but there are also significant costs involved. Business owners need to be smart about using social media to build and maintain a professional image.
This means that businesses can’t afford to portray themselves as individuals who are self-absorbed or lacking in ethics.
These are the kinds of questions that business owners and managers will need to address. Sometimes it feels like all of the tools and online services are geared towards sharing personal information online, but that’s not how business owners operate today.
It’s worth doing a little bit of research to find out which tools best suit the needs of your business. In the end, these tools can give you a great way to market your business online, but it’s important to make sure that you use these tools to build an online reputation.