Before your business faces a customer service crisis or a media meltdown is the smart time to take your first steps into social media.
►To avoid being sorry.
No business can afford to ignore the importance of reputation management, and the important role of social media in online reputation management.
The internet, and social media, have proven to be a mixed blessing for businesses these days. On the one hand they allow businesses to create an online presence for very little money - one can create an online business and advertise oneself all over the net for the cost of a website and a monthly internet connection fee, thanks to sites like Twitter, Facebook and Youtube.
However, it’s also very easy for a company to make a misstep without realizing it and find themselves faced with a public relations fiasco in no time at all.
Reputation Management Case Study
The Motrin campaign is one example. In November Motrin ran an advertisement about the physical pain caused by toting babies in a baby sling. The ad was intended to be humorous; however, many mothers perceived it as insulting mothers who choose to carry their babies that way. Thousands of furious mothers tweeted their outrage, and several days later the ad was pulled.
How could this have been avoided? Well, these days there are numerous free tools and paid tools which monitor online reputation management. Google Alerts and Tweetbeep are a couple of free tools. Companies should also use Twitter’s search function to search for their company name several times a day. If Motrin had done that, they would have discovered the unintentional offense caused by their ad campaign within hours, not days.
There are also a number of sites that monitor mentions of a company’s brand for a fee. For larger companies who have the appropriate sized budget, this can be well worth it.
Proactive Beats Reactive
Of course, reputation management isn’t all about waiting until something negative happens. It’s also about taking positive action to let people know who you are and what you and your company does.
Maintaining an attractive and interesting website, creating professional looking social media accounts on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and other sites, and regularly updating your company blog are all part of online reputation management.
Share your knowledge with others, for free. Comment regularly on issues within your industry (and remember to keep your comments positive or at least neutral; insulting and bashing doesn’t make you look better than your competitors. It makes you look jealous.) Leave helpful comments on the blogs of people in your industry.
And remember to constantly monitor for mentions of you and your company; thank people for positive comments and respectfully address complaints and customer service issues.
Do all of this, and you will be enhancing your businesses’ reputation every day, which in turn enhances your bottom line.
Brands Can Boom or Bust In Real Time
A brand can quickly go from boom to bust in the current digital era, where anyone can spread news quickly to friends on blogs, Facebook and Twitter, so dealing with consumer problems immediately is critical. This is a world where you need to stay really clean because your image spins well beyond your grasp. It's a real challenge, and the easiest way to do that is to stay above it.
Handle customer service opportunities in Tweets, FaceBook status updates, your blog.
Make it easy and clear how a consumer can voice concerns and even talk of chat with real live person.
Business Marketing success is a team activity.
Any single marketing tactic, such as Reputation Management, alone won't make your business succeed, which is why you’ll want to combine it with other forms of web marketing. Reputation Management and brand building is one of our specialties’ at Visible Strategies Digital Marketing LLC. We regularly include reputation management and stregegy services as part of the CTO Services package we provide to our clients.
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Visible Strategies is a leading social media marketing communications agency. With expertise in web reputation management, web development, internet marketing, social media, advertising branding, and public relations www.visible-strategies.com
Author: Margaret Ross