How to Build on Your Reputation Through the Use of Social Media
The funny thing is that most companies don’t pay much attention to their reputation until it takes a hit of some kind. And then they go into major panic mode. Protecting your reputation however needs to be something you consider on a daily basis. It should be as relevant as your marketing plan – in fact, the two are very much linked. Without a good reputation, how will you gain customers? Using social media can be a great help in boosting your profile and working on your reputation. But remember, with social media comes great responsibility. It just takes one or two bad comments for all your hard work to come tumbling down.
Know your starting point
Every business must be aware of its online reputation. If you are truly in the dark about where you stand, then Google your business to see what kind of overview you can garner. Does it look favourable? Are there any negative comments? Have people reviewed you online? This will be a great start to base your next steps from.
Encourage repeat customers
If you do, that is great. You are obviously doing more than just a few things right. If not, are there ways you can stop that from happening. Repeat customers will be your biggest supporters online and will be the ones most likely to share your information, sales and other interesting posts which are relevant. Nurture your current client base before you go looking for new customers.
Maintain your focus
Posting cute kitty photos and other stuff may break up the seriousness of your business posts, but the reality is it is not furthering your business goals. People like your page and look to you for certain information. Keep your focus on where it needs to be and keep your online activities relevant to your particular fan base.
Always be authentic
Authenticity is a topic we have touched upon many times over the years and it still remains relevant today. Remember there are real people behind those likes and comments. If you were standing in a crowded room with all those people, what would you choose to say? Let the real you come through loud and clear and stick to what you believe in.
Sharing important pieces and writing articles to match your niche is what your readers will come to expect. So whatever you choose to write, ensure it helps with any queries they may have about your industry or your company. Otherwise, what’s the point in writing anything at all if it is slanted and irrelevant. You can only influence from a reputable position – so take steps to ensure you are on the right starting block.
Communicate with your fans
Even if you are not a regular user of social media personally, it is worth logging in to your business Facebook page at least once a day to respond to comments and answer any queries. Why go to all that bother and then fail to continue the conversation. Help get the conversations started to so people can come to rely on your business page as the place to congregate for informative discussions.
Share your success stories
Even if you are a new business entity, it is important to share your successes no matter how minor. There are always bad days in business, but keeping a strong focus on the good aspects and what you have achieved will inspire both yourself and your audience. People want to know more about the face behind the brand whether you like it or not.
Be seen on all the major social media sites
While you don’t have to be seen on all the sites, it is worth investing your time and energy into the major social media apps.
Facebook: Facebook is a necessity and is a great way to promote brand awareness. It is very easy to use even for beginners. You do need to have a personal account in order to set up a business account, but it is very easy to keep the two separate.
Twitter: People weren’t quite sure what to make of Twitter when it first began, but don’t be fooled! This 140-character allowance can enable you to get your thoughts out there. At the very least ensure you are sharing posts to widen your audience.
Instagram: Instagram is visually appealing so if you are a retailer or an artist, then it is the perfect place to share your images. The focus really is on beautiful images and unlike Facebook, favours the younger crowd.
Pinterest: Pinterest is the preferred site for women so bear that in mind before you set up your pins. It is visually led and redirects browsers back to your main site. Those interested in your site will seek you out. Sharing information is what it is all about.
Google+: While Google+ is not as popular as the other sites, it is worth sharing your blog posts on there just the same. It is interesting to note that this is the platform which men favour, so again you may just find your target market there.
Be proactive rather than reactive
Reputation management may have become a smart catchphrase in business, but it is necessary in this technological age we have entered into. Social media is an awesome launching pad from which to share your points of views, updates and successes but it can a double-edged sword if handled incorrectly. Rather than be the firefighter who is continually putting out fires, follow in the footsteps of Smokey the Bear and prevent the damage from beginning in the first place.