March 2, 2022

Social Media Reputation Management: How to Do it Right

Brands in every industry can benefit from social media reputation management, especially at a time  when consumers depend heavily on social media to discover and assess businesses.

Specifically, consumers today make purchase decisions based on a company’s online reputation on social media and business review sites — more so than on its advertising, direct sales messages, or promotional content.

  • 54% of people use social media to research products. (GWI
  • 79% of people say that user-generated content on social media significantly impacts their purchasing decisions. (Stackla)

Customers don’t trust companies with lower than 4-star ratings. The most common filter applied is to see only companies with 4-star ratings and higher. (Online Reviews Statistics)

It’s important not to assume that your digital brand reputation is shaped only by your own website and marketing communications. Exterior online properties — such as social media and reviews — also significantly impact how consumers perceive your brand. 

What is Social Media Reputation Management?

Traditionally, social media reputation management describes the variety of tactics marketers use to boost brand awareness and reputation on social media. 

This includes posting strategic content, monitoring social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), and engaging with consumers on those channels who talk about your business or brand.

Today, there is more digital ground to cover. Customers are sharing their experiences with brands on online business review sites, local listings and directories, and business discovery apps. 

While the main objectives of social media reputation management remain the same, today’s marketers have extended the scope of their efforts to include these new digital spaces. 

Social Media Reputation Management: 7 Keys to Success

If you’re just getting started with how your company manages social media reputation, read on for your keys to success and some important points to consider.

Post Engaging, Relevant Content

It’s important not to let your social media pages go stale. Build your pages up and regularly post relevant content and updates like news, announcements, special offers, photos, videos, and links. 

Learn how to communicate more effectively by using social media analytics tools to get actionable insights about your audience.

As your team strategizes on what types of content to post, remember to avoid being overly self-promotional. Apart from posting content that communicates your brand values, you should also consider harnessing user-generated content to encourage organic word-of-mouth marketing.

Use Social Listening Tools

It can be extremely difficult to track every single conversation about your brand happening on every social media channel, especially if you’re managing a brand with multiple business locations. 

Social listening tools like Hootsuite, Brandwatch, and Talkwalker help brands anticipate and act on consumer trends, while saving plenty of time and effort.

With an effective Hootsuite reputation management plan in place, your team can have a closer ear to the voice of the customer on social media while monitoring online reviews.

a screenshot showing multiple social media streams on Hootsuite

Focus on Increasing Reviews, Not Likes and Followers

We’re not saying you should delete your Twitter profiles or stop checking people’s follow activity, @mentions, and DMs. By all means, continue to take control of your social media presence and engage with potential and existing customers. 

A strong social media reputation management strategy, after all, can improve your performance on search engines and give you more control over what’s being said about your company online.

google is the top site for business reviews

At the same time, pay equal amount of attention to your online reviews. As part of your social media reputation management efforts, make sure you tune into what customers are saying on business review sites like Yelp, Google, Tripadvisor, and Facebook. 

Apart from monitoring reviews, invest in efforts that generate more feedback and reviews, instead of simply increasing your likes, hearts, and followers. 

Resolve Issues that Affect Reputation

Not every engagement on social will be positive. If customer issues arise, it’s best to have a plan in place to address the situation and communicate with the customer. 

Resolving issues will not only improve audience engagement; it will also inspire consumer trust. Says best-selling author and customer service expert Chip Bell:

“In the customer’s mind, the clock starts when they post a negative review. Your reputation drops with every hour you delay providing a response. Be honest, be apologetic, and offer the aggrieved customer an easy way to access you. Bad reviews that remain unanswered signal to other customers you are disinterested. It also fuels the perception that the negative report by an angry customer was probably accurate.”

As part of your social media reputation management strategy, learn how to respond to negative reviews and social media comments. More importantly, act on the insights you get from their unsolicited feedback and use the information to deliver better customer experiences. 

Pay Close Attention to Google and Facebook

According to online reviews statistics, 76% of all reviews are spread between two sites: Google and Facebook. 

While it’s important to focus on as many social media channels as you can, pay special attention to Google and Facebook, two platforms where the largest share of consumers are reading and posting feedback about your business.

Share Your Best Reviews on Social Media

If you consistently receive five-star ratings and glowing reviews on review websites, don’t hesitate to show them off. Share the best reviews on your popular social profiles, or even on your company blog with a tool like Amplify.

Remember: the impact of user-generated content is more powerful and effective than loud sales messages or promotional brand content. Sharing positive reviews on social media drowns out negative noise. It can also provide the social proof needed for people to convert or make repeat purchases.

Transform Social Media Data into Insights

Savvy brands are extracting insights from social media comments and customer-generated reviews in order to gain insights into the customer experience.

By tapping into your precious social media data, you can support the objectives of your social media reputation management strategy and make smart business decisions that will earn the trust of potential and existing customers. 

Technologies such as natural language processing and customer experience analytics make it easier than ever for teams to decipher the customer sentiment in feedback. Successful brands also tap into their data to achieve a more accurate view of the customer experience. They have the ability to understand — in seconds and at scale — what customers really mean whenever they share their thoughts in their own words.

Final Thoughts

A well-managed social media reputation management plan can be a difference-maker in attracting customers to your brand.

With an effective strategy in place, you can expand your reach on platforms that matter, drive engagement with your community of fans and followers, and develop lasting relationships that attract and retain customers. 

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