How’s your social media reputation? Whether you’re just a regular social media user or a brand trying to build an online presence, maintaining a positive reputation on social channels is important.
Your social media reputation affects your online and offline relationships and your bottom line, too. For instance, a negative business reputation from inappropriate social media use can negatively affect your brand’s social media presence, revenue, goodwill, influence, and trust. Similarly, for the regular online user, insensitive and offensive social media posts can cost you your job or dream career.
Considering that 4.26 billion people use social media daily, it goes without saying that you need to be cautious with the content you share online. The good news is that a reputation management strategy can help take care of how you appear online. So, what is reputation management on social media, and how can it help you maintain a positive impression on your followers and potential customers?
Table of Contents
What Is Social Media Reputation?
Social media reputation is how your online audience sees and thinks of you or your brand. This perception is based on how you interact with others on the digital landscape and any references, reviews, and feedback made by other social media users relating to you or your brand.
Notably, when it comes to your online reputation, your audience will not only focus on the positive feedback but on the negative comments, too. This is why your reputation strategy needs to include social media damage control, which is an action plan for handling an online crisis. For instance, how do you handle a customer complaint or misleading social media chatter directed at your brand?
The Importance of Social Media Reputation Management
Given that social media has become an essential tool for business, your online activity can make or break you. Here are a few reasons why social media reputation management is essential for both brands and regular social media users.
Builds customer trust – A positive social media reputation can help build trust between you and your target audience. The result is improved customer relationships and loyal brand advocates who are likely to refer your business to their network.
Ensures business continuity – Negative feedback and comments on online platforms have led to boycotted products and business closures. However, a social media reputation management strategy can mitigate such a reputation crisis and ensure business continuity.
Protects your brand’s credibility – Many customers will check your online reviews to determine if your business can be trusted. With a reputation management strategy in place, you can ensure there is no false or misleading information that can damage your brand’s credibility.
Increased revenue – Negative feedback can spread quickly on social media, hurting a brand’s revenue. However, using the right reputation management tools can help handle criticism in a professional manner, which can help draw in new customers and increase sales.
Gives you a competitive edge – Social media is very competitive, and having a positive reputation online can be the strategy that sets you apart from the competition.
Reflects your brand values – Social media reputation can reveal how your brand handles customers and how you respond to their needs and concerns. This can create an overall positive impression about your brand and the products or services you offer.
Attracts and retains employees – No one wants to work for a business that has a negative reputation in the digital landscape. Besides, it’s no secret that most employees will research a company’s online reputation before attending an interview or accepting a job offer. Maintaining a positive online reputation can help your business attract and retain top talent.
Steps on Creating Your Social Media Reputation Strategy
Online reputation management involves strategically monitoring, measuring, and shaping how your online audience perceives your brand on social networks. It involves taking control of how you appear online. When done right, your reputation management efforts will steer your brand toward success. On the other hand, a lack of a proper reputation management strategy will impact not only your brand’s online perception but your profitability as well. To help you come up with an effective online reputation management strategy, here are five steps you can follow.
1. Audit Your Current Social Media Reputation
The first thing you need to do is determine how your online audience currently perceives your brand. Did you ignore a negative review from the past? Have you been responsive to dissatisfied customers’ comments?
Performing an audit will help you know where to start when it comes to managing your online reputation. An in-depth social media reputation audit will involve the following:
- Checking your engagement on all social channels.
- Keeping track of all reviews, comments, feedback, mentions, and tags.
- Splitting the online conversations into positive and negative to identify areas of improvement.
- Reviewing your social media metrics.
- Comparing your brand’s reputation with competitors in the market.
2. Monitor Mentions
The second step involves keeping tabs on your mentions. Use a social media listening tool to track mentions, hashtags, tags, and branded keywords. A social monitoring tool also helps you respond to direct messages, comments, and feedback promptly. Such a tool will further help you get data that you can use to come up with an effective social media reputation strategy.
3. Respond to Mentions
After tracking your mentions, you need to respond to them. Ensure you answer any queries and thank satisfied customers who took their time to post positive responses or feedback. Acknowledge negative reviews or comments too, apologize promptly, and offer help where necessary.
Other tips that can help you respond well to your customer issues and mentions include:
- Maintain a level of professionalism when responding to any customer sentiment.
- Personalize your messages instead of using generic responses.
- Never delete or ignore negative comments or complaints; rather, respond to them and find a way of resolving the issue.
- Don’t be emotional when dealing with unhappy and angry customers; instead, focus on the facts.
- Apologize to unsatisfied customers, even when it might not be your fault.
- Keep your customers updated on their queries.
4. Build a Positive Online Reputation for Your Brand
Now that you know how your reputation looks on social media, it’s time to improve it. Start by creating valuable content that resonates with your audience and also addresses their concerns. Also, your social media content should be original, engaging, and of high quality.
Further, engage with your audience by responding to their comments, messages, and reviews. This will help build trust, rapport, and customer loyalty. It will also build your customer base and encourage your followers to give you feedback and insights about your brand. Engagement also helps showcase your brand values and personality. You can also create a positive buzz around your brand with the help of success stories, user-generated content, and sharing behind-the-scenes posts.
5. Monitor Your Social Listening Data and Take Action
The last step is to track your progress and take action. A social listening tool will help monitor your online reputation. Besides the monitoring feature, most social listening tools offer lots of metrics that you can use to analyze your performance
Use these metrics to measure your performance and compare it to your online reputation goals. This will help you determine if your strategy is effective, as well as help you identify areas of improvement.
Your social media reputation matters as it affects your credibility, social media presence, and profitability. Having an effective online reputation management strategy is the first step towards improving your social media reputation. Hopefully, after reading this article, you’re now ready to come up with an online reputation strategy that works.
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