Building an online reputation is a smart marketing approach that businesses should invest in. By promoting all the positive messages and feedback about your business and dealing responsibly with any negative comments, you'll create an overall good impression of your business.
Integrated into every aspect of your business, online reputation marketing means that you can maintain a positive image of your brand at all times. Plus, here are some tips to increase your online reputation on social media:
1. Assign a social media manager
This media has become an essential part of any company's marketing strategy today. The first step you need to take is to assign a staff member as the social media manager that can monitor and control your company's profile(s).
It's often easy to forget that followers are also customers—paying or potential customers. By not interacting with them, you are not only missing out on sales but are also risking damaging customer loyalty by showing you don't care about their thoughts or experience.
If no staff member is assigned to respond to customer comments and complaints, customers might feel like you don't pay attention to their needs. This makes your brand seem unserious, untrustworthy, and unprofessional in general.
Buyers are more nervous to buy what you're selling because you've avoided connotations that would promote confidence in your company. They're likely to head over to someone else's store instead.
When a customer decides to turn to your competitor for help, it's likely because their search results showed they were more trustworthy or gave better value. Hence, any online reputation marketing campaign should be designed to build trust and show off your company's unique strengths and abilities.
By paying close attention to consumers on social media and providing a great customer experience, you will cultivate an engaged community. This gets people excited about your products and creates an environment in which they continue to patronize your products.
Consider a situation where a student buys a laptop from your company, and later finds the product faulty. The student contacts you on social media but after 16 weeks, they still haven’t received any reply or help.
A customer who experiences such treatment may decide to never purchase from the company again. For something like this not to happen, someone must have the main duty of monitoring your brand's social pages.
2. Appoint an experienced, customer-facing personnel
Too often, brands assign someone to manage social media and handle negative or confusing posts, without giving them the power to resolve customer issues quickly.
Allocating blame is not a solution. The social media managers in this situation will be too scared to take necessary actions, fearing reprimands or termination.
Managers and support staff who need to communicate with customers or promote a positive company image should be experienced—they need to feel confident and capable enough to make decisions that will not negatively impact the company or its reputation.
Imagine that some customers leave negative feedback on your company's social channel about services rendered to them. How would you want those guys to feel? Where do you think the problem actually lies?
If the brand was indeed at fault and made a mistake that has been overwhelming for some people, there's a chance that the assigned employee might weigh up the situation.
They might consider it an opportunity to do something good for those people, for free. This way, they can show how apologetic the business is and perhaps win back some of the tarnished reputations.
A personalized and courteous resolution to a complaint (regardless of the scenario) will naturally progress into positive word-of-mouth advertising and create a satisfactory customer experience—both having the greatest impact on business referrals.
On the other hand, customers may be reluctant to communicate with social media managers who lack decision-making power. As a result, the company may miss out on following up with them to make amends and lose the opportunity to turn the situation to its benefit.
3. Your employees should have the required skills
Make sure your employees are equipped with the following skills before assigning them to interact with social media customers:
Since there’s no tone of speech or body language involved, you need exemplary interpersonal skills to do well over the Internet.
You also need to be smart and wise when dealing with customers on social media. Humor is key, as well as being concise. These are essential for your posts to be effective on any social platform.
Ability to deal with angry customers
Every company will have angry customers at some point, but how you deal with them determines the relationship they have with your brand (and its overall customer satisfaction).
You want to hire an experienced individual who has been trained in counseling to handle customer feedback. Find someone who will be attentive and work with each customer in the best possible manner.
Ability to deal with negativity
Dealing with negativity is a staple part of social media management. You need to know how to handle any situation that may arise when managing a business account.
Handling negativity is about more than just having the right personality. This task requires people to pick up on small details that others don't even notice, then analyze the situation and quickly come up with an appropriate solution.
4. Groom your company's online reputation
Following a marketing strategy without the right foundation will cause you to fail. So, first, you need to get a clear understanding of your target audience and what they want.
If this is your first foray into social media marketing, you must take the time to learn as much about your audience as possible before picking which channels to focus on.
The following are some useful tips for building a successful social media reputation strategy:
- You need to figure out what messages you want to convey and how best to deliver those messages.
- Make sure to adapt your content depending on the channel you are posting on - they all have different usage patterns.
- To be successful in distributing your content, it needs to be specially tailored towards the objectives of the channels you use.
- Consider the best days and times to post content, plus when to add seasonal and special days to your plan.
5. Build a vision-focused SMM strategy
Your social media marketing strategy needs to be aligned with your business vision to ensure that you can create content that aligns with your brand goals. By working in tandem with both offline and online avenues, you can achieve better results for your company.
6. Be consistent with your social media posts
Create a schedule for yourself by defining clear goals - set yourself reminders on how much content you need to post each week, based on a data-driven posting frequency. Making sure to provide enough high-quality content for all platforms you use is quite important.
If you want to be successful with Facebook and Twitter, keep in mind that the latter is more fast-paced and thus having new content posted as often as possible can help you attain 15% more reach on Twitter.
Facebook, on the other hand, does not require much posting—research has shown that you could lose followers at a rapid pace if you post more than twice a day.
Train your key employees about social media reputation
Indeed, people may search online to learn more about your brand and even about the company's management and leadership. Prospective clients can do online research to see what other people say about your business and ensure your brand is as good as it seems.
Of course, if it's an expensive purchase then they're likely to do even more research into things like company leadership before deciding who they buy from.
You must teach your key employees how to promote and protect the image of your brand through their social media accounts. This will make them respected by prospects who are more likely to take an employee's opinion on top of what the company has to say.
Online reputation marketing is imperative in maintaining a strong relationship with your leads, prospects, and customers. Take care of it and it'll take care of you.
Following the branding tips in this guide will not only improve your company's reputation but also increase sales, visibility, and engagement. These will give your company an edge over the competition.