Whether you’re deciding between ordering from two local pizzerias or choosing a marketing agency to partner with on a global scale, word-of-mouth marketing has proven to stand the test of time in our increasingly digital world. No matter your business’ size or industry, a positive or negative online reputation could drastically affect your customer base and growth. A good reputation can yield tremendous results and new customers, while a poor reputation could eventually close your business.
Social media provides a variety of channels from which your business can connect with consumers and generate visibility. A social media marketing campaign can make or break your business’ online reputation management efforts now more than ever, so it might be worth your while to take the extra steps to ensure you are making the most of your company’s social media presence.
Sharing is Caring
At its essence, social media is a large open forum from which your business and your customers and interact with one another. Because of this, it’s important to post content that is worth interacting with in the first place. One of the most effective ways to improve your online reputation is by encouraging social sharing, so the ultimate goal is to make social media content that is buzzworthy enough for your audience to repost onto their feed. This then introduces your brand to a brand new audience via their social network who may not have heard of your company otherwise.
The key to creating shareworthy social media content is offering something of value that is both aesthetically pleasing and relevant to your audience’s needs and interests. If you are sharing a link to a blog on your website, make sure the image is clear and the title is legible in full. If you are posting a more visual piece of content like an infographic, it should be informative, easy to follow and reflective of your branding. That way your content will be easily recognizable as belonging to your business, even if it is reposted on a blog or other social media platform.
Solve Problems Socially
Let’s face it – negative reviews happen. Your first instinct might be to panic if you see a less-than-stellar review on a forum as public as social media, but it actually provides your business with a great opportunity to improve your online reputation.
Ignoring a negative review on your business’ social media account might come off as being careless, so it’s important that you take action without getting defensive. Thank your disgruntled customer for sharing their feedback and apologize for any problems that your company could have prevented. Then, offer to take the conversation offline in order to find a solution that remedies their initial experience. This allows your social media followers to see you care about your customer experience, and opens the door for the reviewer to potentially update their feedback with a higher rating.
Control Your Messaging
One of the many benefits of social media as it relates to online reputation management is that it enables you to control your own messaging. Utilize this opportunity to tell your business’ story – from humble beginnings, to success stories and where you are right now.
Share testimonials from happy customers so your audience can see real results from real people. Include snippets from new blogs in social media posts to encourage your audience to click through to your website. Show off your company culture with photos or live streams of your team on an outing. Social media is inherently social by nature, so use this to your advantage to craft a narrative that fits the voice and vision for your brand. If you don’t write your own story, you’re opening the door for a competitor or unhappy customer to write it for you.
Social media provides you with a wealth of information you can use to gain insight into the needs, interests and concerns of your consumer base. The key is knowing how to implement this information into improving your online reputation management strategy.
Analyze the reviews and comments on your social media accounts to see if there is any common feedback – if five people mention unfriendly phone etiquette, for example, it might be time to give your team a customer service refresher. Create other opportunities for your followers to weigh in as well, such as polls or open-ended posts. Utilize this feedback to improve your business strategy moving forward, and you could improve your online reputation moving forward as well.
Online Reputation Management Gone Social
Social media puts your business at the forefront of your target audience’s most candid insights, feedback and critiques. Utilize social media to your advantage, and you can use their responses to improve their perception of your company. Ignore them – or worse, respond poorly – and your online reputation could take a serious hit.
Something as delicate as your online reputation management shouldn’t be handled haphazardly, and something as inconspicuous as one poorly worded post could do a great deal of damage to the public perception of your business. With this in mind, you may want to consider hiring an outside digital marketing agency with the time and knowledge needed to handle your social media and online reputation management for you. Contact us to learn more about where your business’ online reputation stands today, and what our team of experts can do to maintain or improve it moving forward.
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