Social media and online reputation management go hand-in-hand.
If one jumps into the well, the other does.
If one receives recognition, so does the other one.
And if you manage one, the other gets worked upon too.
In the dictionary of social media and online reputation management, the word ‘independent’ does not exist. They are together forever!
Sounds like a good story, right!
It is true too!
No matter how much you recede from practicing social media marketing, it is impossible to stay away from it. Social media reputation management is a reality.
And, it does have the power to manage and monitor your business!
But how so?
Where your traditional marketing tactics fail to register a budding and compliant brand reputation, social media can not only build it but expand it further.
This article covers and elaborates on how social media helps in online reputation management services and top strategies that can help your brand achieve stardom on social media channels.
Complete knowledge about something is what drives success and innovation.
So, before we head over to the section explaining how social media improves a brand’s online reputation, let us understand what social media reputation management is all about.
Do you have an account on social media?
Obviously, you do!
No matter your age, gender, region, and hobbies, social media has the power to impress and interest you at the same time.
But which platform should you use?
Is it Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, or YouTube?
But that is not even the real question?
It is how to manage a brand’s online reputation on all these platforms simultaneously?
The answer is social media reputation management.
Quite precisely, the phrase includes two most important business practices; social media and online reputation management. And its literal meaning is a compilation of both their meanings.
Social media reputation management involves posting strategic and well-thought-of social media content, monitoring social media channels, engaging with the customers, responding to their queries, solving issues, and offering a remarkably pleasing experience.
What sparked merely as a manner of answering and resolving customer queries has grown into a tree, encompassing more channels like online review sites, local business directories, business discovery apps, and other third-party websites.
Social media reputation management is all about managing a sound and positive brand reputation on all social media channels and other digital spaces where customers have a say about their experience.
The goal, however, is consistent, shaping a progressive and optimistic consumer perception about a brand or business.
As per reports, 58% of consumers tend to share their experiences on social media platforms. These reviews serve as personal advice to their audiences who completely trust them, just like a friend or family.
Moreover, around 72% of the consumers will trust a brand more after reading a positive customer review on social media or other review sites. So, with apt social media reputation management techniques, you can lead several conversations around your brand, making it a social media phenomenon.
So, how do you manage your brand’s online reputation through social media?
It Moulds a Customer’s Perception of a Brand
Suppose you are looking for a restaurant nearby. The easiest way is to search for ‘restaurants near me’ and browse through the list of available restaurants.
But how do you choose one over the other?
Well, you read through the online reviews about a restaurant, consider their genre, and if you are in the mood for it, then BAAAM!
You have your preferred restaurant location on GPS.
The idea is, reviews have become a part of our lives.
We do not buy a product unless it has been passed by our online friends and family. If a product is recommended by an audience group, we feel less hesitant to invest in it.
And this is what customer perception is all about. Reviews forge a brand image in the minds of those customers as well who did not ever initiate a purchase from your business. Once they know that a so-called brand has received more negative reviews than positive ones, they will generally not indulge in its products and services.
For example, the above are reviews for an Italian restaurant. All of these are user reviews; therefore, they matter when other prospective visitors are looking for a great restaurant downtown. As a user, I would love to hear the details about a restaurant before heading over there.
And this is what reviews are, a red light warning you before you spend your money on a brand.
And, reading such reviews would surely make me want to go there!
Hence the positive image of a brand in my mind.
It Builds Trust and Credibility
Everyday sure is a new day but not filled with positive reviews on your social media.
There will be days when you’ll face a negative review on a social media platform or a specific website, and you'd think your situation is a disaster.
No matter how unfavourable a situation is, there is nothing that a good online reputation tactic cannot handle. While keeping such comments at bay is inevitable, you need to address them on the public platform with ownership and credibility.
Responding to such comments becomes more than necessary for a brand. Otherwise, it would serve as a red flag for other customers. Being able to recover a negative review restores the lost confidence in your company and helps to regain the trust of your audience. You can show your customers and potential business partners that you acknowledge such feedback and mediate the issue as well.
Reviews like such can disrupt the trust and followership you have, but only when you don’t know how to handle such reviews.
Conversely, The Stinking Rose did take matters into their own hands, handled the review like a pro, and created a positive impression in the minds of the customer. Moreover, users reading such reviews look at the other side of the brand, one that respects its guests.
Helps Analyse the Needs and Wants of a Customer
A brand is everything because of its customers.
Therefore, as a customer-driven business, every innovation and advancement need to keep them in mind. Reviews are a great way to address customer needs and demands.
Sometimes, reviews describe things customers can’t get enough of, and this is where you need to refine your products and services. Taking care of such suggestions and complaints will help your business to innovate and adapt to the changing times.
Remember this Tweet?
Earlier in this, a user tweeted how Truecaller should inform about the purpose of the call too. The CEO of Truecaller took note of it. And, fast forward ten months, Truecaller released an update wherein the caller can customize their call reason as well.
This feature became a hoot amongst users, skyrocketing the popularity of Truecaller. Moreover, it reflected Truecaller's value in taking customer advice into account, explaining its popularity as a people’s brand.
Building User-Friendly Content
One of the most overlooked domains of online reputation management services is content generation.
Online reputation management isn’t just about taking care of a brand’s reputation on social media; it also entails devising a strong content development and posting strategy to enhance the already existing brand image. All in all, what you say online matters a lot too. So, take steps to publish relevant content online, one that is relatable with your brand.
Apple created a huge buzz around its Apple Event, and it was exactly worth it. The new iPhone 12 has built a tremendous following before its launch, and Apple’s social media posts keep that spark alive.
Recently, all its posts, especially the content scripted, talks about how the iPhone 12 is different than any other phone Apple has ever created. Not only does it build trust in their product, but a loyal following, translating to great sales numbers and revenue figures as well.
Social media is one powerful tool that can forge and scalpel a powerful and consistent brand image for your business. But that isn’t the only beauty of it. It also helps to connect businesses with millions of people each month.
Instead of creating a fake brand image, you can use social media to take a dive into reality, remove all negative perceptions, and be taken seriously as a brand. Social media is a direct medium for people to interact with your business, and their feedback helps to retain not just current customers but improve their products and services for future audiences as well.
Social media is, therefore, pivotal for building an online reputation and affirming brand perception.
The following are some key ways brands can use social media reputation management to erect, enrich, and expand your business reputation.
Assess Your Current Online Reputation On Social Media
You cannot know where you want to go until you determine where you are!
And this is exactly what online reputation management is all about!
Unless you assess your current online stature, you can’t comprehend changes and cook your digital presence online. Moreover, to improve your online reputation, you have to know what you want to track so that you can monitor data accordingly.
For starters, employ various tools to help you research and evaluate your digital reputation. Using third-party tools like Mention, Google Alerts, and Brand Grader helps identify the strengths and weaknesses of your brand’s reputation.
These tools provide deep insights about your brand, competitors, and customers. Also, with Google Alerts, you can track new content published about your business, monitor industry trends, and leverage against competition.
What’s awesome about Google Analytics and Alerts is that it's free and includes all the content indexed in Google, so you will never miss out on anything!
Once you review your current reputation, you now have a better idea of where you want to take it and how solid a business presence you aspire to achieve on social media.
Engagement is More Important than Likes and Followers
To truly engage with your customers, you have to listen to what they have to say.
Social media engagement is a two-way road. When you listen to your customers, they reward you with their trust and loyalty.
Brands generally think that social media doesn’t earn money, but that isn’t its forte. The real power of social media lies in connection and not conversion. Social media is more of an advertising and marketing platform than a selling one.
So, brands who are looking for that level of community engagement from their audience, in terms of building a strong bond with them rather than driving money, social media reputation is for you.
As a smart person has said, a person should be a keen listener than a speaker.
And this is true for brands as well. If businesses want to engage with their social media followers, they need to listen to what followers have to say, even if it's negative.
Emotional marketing is key, fellas!
So, no matter if you have negative reviews or not, respond to them. It shows that you are ready to adapt and change for the customers, which is a big thing.
As per a report by Sprout Social, customers find contacting brands on social media convenient than any other medium (websites, live chat, toll-free numbers, store, and email). And in no way should a brand take more than 10 hours to respond to a customer query because post it; the damage will become irreparable.
Always listen to a customer's problem, offer a prompt solution (and not just promise one), and provide a platform where company executives can hear their words.
Efficiently calm the storm before it destroys your years of brand building hard work.
Encourage More Social Media Reviews
People spend hours scrolling social media feeds, so it is more than normal to ask for more social media reviews.
Because, more social media reviews equal to a rise in reputation.
So, provide your followers with the easiest route to provide their reviews. Clickable images and 1-5 ratings are the easiest way you can request reviews from your customers.
The above example cites how you can request a review from a customer via social media. All you have to do is create a quirky social media post and direct customers to the review page directly. It gives customers a starting point for reviewing your product, so they aren’t stuck with writer’s block.
Engage in Meaningful Conversations With Your Audience
Do you know why customers connect with brands on social media?
Because, unlike emails and tedious chat-based processes, customers can engage in one-on-one conversations with brands on social media.
Moreover, since brands are watching out for their reputation online, the time taken for a reply is significantly reduced. When customers can take time to connect with businesses on social media, so can brands.
Listen and monitor what your customers are speaking about you socially. Look at the popular hashtags surrounding your brand and its frequency.
Search for that emotional connection with your customers and respond with thankful messages. Encourage customers to leave reviews, and feature real lives than models in your posts. Not only will this spread a unified message about your brand, but engage other customers to indulge in your satisfactory services.
Replying to both positive and negative reviews is one way you can engage in meaningful conversations with your customers and make them feel special and wanted.
Moreover, you can share such appreciative reviews on social media to spread the good word about your services.
Remember, try to increase more social media reviews than likes or followers since the former will bring in new customers and help you take control of your business.
Use Social Media Data As Insights
You can gain so much knowledge about your customers by using social media channels. You can study your customer demographics, their interests, your most popular products, the age group that buys your products the most, what are the most common suggestions offered, and which social media posts receive maximum traction.
Savvy brands are already doing this, using comments and customer-generated reviews to gain insights into bettering the customer experience.
Social media data is highly precious for brands!
It supports your objectives and social media reputation management strategies.
Using that data, brands can make smarter decisions and improve the overall customer experience. When concerning reputation management, customer experience analytics is of pivotal importance.
Moreover, it is always better to have customers share their thoughts about your services in their own words.
When you have goals, you do find a way to accomplish them!
While each business is unique, social media reputation management is the right tool to let out that uniqueness into the world.
The bottom line is, trust your customers and make them trust you.
And, if you want to generate more social media traffic, then give attention to your customers.
Hire the best online reputation management companies for the task, and launch your business correctly on social media.
Sumeet Anand is a B2B Marketing Expert skilled in SEO, Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing. He helps brands and businesses out there generate leads with his top-notch content strategies and is featured on various major media publications across the globe. You can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.