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Social media gives customers the opportunity to voice their opinion about your business in an open space.

It’s a space that exists for everyone to see — friends, family, and other consumers. That’s why businesses should manage their reputation on social media. But what exactly is it? And how exactly can it help your business? 

Here is a guide to help you understand social media reputation management and why you need to incorporate it into your marketing strategy.

What is Social Media Reputation Management?

Traditionally, social media reputation management includes the monitoring, engaging, and listening to customers on the social media sites that are traditional social media sites — like Twitter and Facebook. But for a more modern definition, social media reputation management includes all public forums where customers have a voice about anything related to a business –whether it’s a product, service, brand, or trend.

Why You Need Social Media Management

According to a new survey from The Manifest and Smart Insights, 52 percent of companies report that social media has helped increase their revenue and sales. This is evidence that social media management is a key part of any marketing strategy.

It can be really difficult to know where to begin with social media reputation management. First of all, what is considered social media?

Social media includes the traditional sites we think of like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. It also includes online review sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp.

Social media reputation management is a key part of building a positive brand reputation. Customers go online before visiting a business. Consumers will look at what other consumers have to say about your business on their path to purchase.

How Social Media Reputation Management Builds Brand Advocates

The platforms where customers post feedback online — like Google and Facebook — are the places where customers become brand advocates.

Brand advocates are the customers that talk highly of your business in every step of the customer journey.

An example of how you can build brand advocates is by responding to customers who leave online reviews. Let’s say a customer writes about how much he likes the burgers at your restaurant. He writes that he’s been going to your restaurant frequently for three years.

When you respond to him with enthusiasm and thank him, he will like your restaurant even more. In addition, consumers will see his review, which proves to other consumers that your burger restaurant is that good.

Improve the Customer Experience with Social Media Management

You can improve the customer experience with social listening. It’s an important part of any social media management strategy. Customer feedback in social media provides your business with is insights into the customer experience, which is essential in today’s consumer-driven world.

According to Hootsuite, social listening is monitoring all social channels for comments and conversations about your brand, competitors, product, or anything else that applies to your business.

Listening to conversations about your brand on social media sites, including online review sites, is key to analyzing feedback to gain insights into the customer experience.

These insights should be used to improve operations across all of your business locations. Imagine if multiple customers from multiple restaurant locations talk about how their orders are wrong in multiple reviews. You can use that feedback to correct the issue.

A Note About Google and Facebook

According to the 2018 ReviewTrackers Online Review Survey, Facebook is the No. 2 site for the distribution of online reviews. Google is first.

Google is also the online review site where consumers are reading the most reviews: 63.6 percent of consumers read online reviews on Google before visiting a business. 

While it’s important to focus on all online social platforms, pay special attention to Facebook and Google. These are the platforms where consumers are writing reviews.

When you manage your social media across all platforms, you will build trust with your customers, which is more important than ever in today’s consumer-driven industries.

Megan Wenzl

Megan is the Associate Editor for ReviewTrackers. She's a writer who is committed to finding useful information to help your business succeed. Megan holds an M.A. in journalism from Columbia College Chicago.