Businesses of every size and across every industry can benefit from social media reputation management.
This holds especially true in these times, when consumers depend on the Internet for vital pieces of information and make purchase decisions based on a business’s online reputation, more so than on its advertising, direct sales messages, or promotional content.
Keep in mind that the online reputation of your business isn’t shaped exclusively by the contents of your website or your own marketing communications. Content outside of your core online properties — such as social media — can also impact your reputation.
What is Social Media Reputation Management?
Traditionally, social media reputation management is the process of posting strategic social media content, monitoring social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), and engaging with customers who talk about your business or brand.
Today, social media reputation management covers even more channels: online review sites, local business directories, and business discovery apps. These are all digital spaces where customers have a say about their experience with a business.
However, the goal is still the same: to positively shape the consumer perception of your brand or business.
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.
Resolve Issues that Affect Reputation
Not every piece of feedback is positive. If customer issues come up on social media and online review sites, make sure you address the situation and get back to them.
Says best-selling author and customer service expert Chip Bell:
In the customer’s mind, the clock starts when he or she posts a negative review, and 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.
When responding to negative reviews and social media comments, be as specific as you can about the customer’s experience and communicate any changes or improvements you have made as a result of their feedback. The sooner you can get back to your customer, the greater your chances of improving the situation.
Post Engaging, Relevant Content
In uncertain times like the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.
As you do so, avoid being overly self-promotional. Take advantage of user-generated content and see how you can use it to improve your online reputation.
Also, be sure to show your willingness to engage with your community of fans and followers by liking, commenting on, and responding to their activity on your profiles.
Use a Social Listening Tool
It can be extremely difficult to track every single conversation about your business happening on every social media channel, especially if you’re managing a business with multiple locations.
Investing in a social listening tool like Hootsuite can save you plenty of time and effort. With it, you can schedule posts, track conversations and mentions, monitor online reviews, and even create customizable streams so that you’re able to effectively listen to the voice of the customer on social media.
For more information on how you can use Hootsuite as a social media reputation management tool, read details of ReviewTrackers’ partnership with Hootsuite.
Focus on Increasing Reviews, Not Likes and Followers
We’re not saying you should delete your local business page on Facebook 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 strategy can also improve your performance on search engines and give you more control over what’s being said about your business online.
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.
Pay Close Attention to Google and Facebook
Among the top two sites where customers post online reviews are Google and Facebook.
According to the Online Reviews Survey, Google is the online review site where consumers are reading the most reviews: 63.6% of consumers read reviews on Google before visiting a business.
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 your best reviews on your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram profiles, or even on your company blog.
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, and it can even make a positive impact on your search visibility.
Transform Social Media Data into Insights
Savvy brands are extracting insights from social media comments and customer-generated reviews in order to gain insights on 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.
The world’s most successful brands tap into their data in order to achieve a more accurate view of the customer experience. Through customer experience analytics, they have the ability to understand — in seconds and at scale — what customers really mean whenever they share their thoughts in their own words.
A well-managed online reputation on social media can be a difference-maker in attracting customers to your business.
By having an effective social media reputation management strategy in place, you can expand your reach on platforms that matter, drive engagement with your community of fans and customers, and develop lasting relationships that profit your bottom line.