Online business reputation management is getting more important than ever, especially with the rise of digital marketing. Consumers are getting more and more reliant on customer reviews as a basis for their digital transactions. In fact, recent studies show that an average consumer tends to look at 10 positive reviews before trusting a business.
However, in social media, word-of-mouth in the form of likes, comments, posts, and reposts are more volatile. Social media, the most famous of which are Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, are more authentic and unfiltered when compared to Google reviews.
While customers are more unrestricted in voicing out their opinions on these platforms, social media is also the best tool for managing online reputation. Social media fosters an increasingly growing community in which brands can better engage with more of their target audience. When used correctly, social media reputation management can be a plentiful source of followers you can turn to loyal customers.
Here are some tactics you can use to manage your social media reputation effectively:
- Use social listening tools
Statistics show that 96% of dissatisfied customers don’t complain to brands directly. Rather, they tell their friends and followers about these problems. Without mentions to your business page, you can miss out on important customer feedback information.
This is where social listening comes in. Social listening is a process where you can monitor your social media channels for indirect mentions of your brand or products. This strategy requires a dedicated team to maintain. However, a few apps such as HootSuite and HubSpot can get you started.
There are also built-in analytics tools within some social media sites for monitoring the performance of your posts and ads. Twitter Analytics, for instance, can provide insights about your tweets’ engagement within the last 28 days. This includes data on clicks, likes, impressions, and retweets.
- Respond using direct messages
Many customers take to posting their customer service requirements towards a brand on social media. In cases of complaints, it would not be advisable to be publicly defensive in approaching your critic customers.
Fortunately, you can reduce their effect on the rest of your followers and control the dialogue a lot easier. You can do this by diverting the public conversation to a private email or direct message (DM).
This tactic can give you a chance to collect your thoughts and compose a professional response to address your customers’ complaints. Using the “DM tactic”, you can acknowledge the problem and resolve your customers’ concerns without letting it succumb to the “cancel culture”.
- Do the “volumes game”
Taking the effort to be proactive in responding to comments about your brand or products can go a long way. According to a report by Sprout Social, 65% of customers become more loyal to a brand that responds to their messages, with 70% more inclined to use their services as a result.
With this, you want your audience to be heard. Responding to their comments, may it be positive or negative, can build a stronger affinity between your brand and your customers. You might want to personalize each reply to build an individual connection. It’s also a good idea to respond with a “thanks” to your mentions.
Just a reminder: in responding to any kind of review, it is always a staple to keep a cool head and be polite. Especially in answering negative comments, you have to remain professional in delivering your apologies (even when it’s not your fault) and reassuring your customers that you are working on improving your services.
- Create a positive narrative
People love stories, so why not show them the good things your company is doing? We’re not suggesting you invent stories. Rather, you can share your company’s genuine social work efforts or philanthropic projects. This can involve volunteerism, charity, donations, and sustainably sourced products. This way, you can humanize your business’ brand and make it more appealing to people’s emotions. Social media reputation management also covers making content that can turn your brand into something that people can relate to.
You can also employ this tactic to combat the effects of negative feedback. One way to do this is to ask for permission to republish positive testimonials from some of your loyal and satisfied customers.
- Create engaging and relevant content
Posting content that is socially relevant, timely, and related to your services can not only improve your social media brand image, it can also increase your online exposure. Of course, these contents should be tailored based on your company’s social media goals.
However, this does not mean that you have to post as regularly as possible. Rather, keep a healthy consistency in publishing content and updates such as announcements, special offers, news, and informative articles that can build your credibility and encourage engagement towards your customers. Maintaining this strategy involves the aforementioned social media analytics tools to evaluate the performance of your content and improve on them from time to time.
You can also promote your website’s blog content to your social media profiles. This can not only affect your online reputation but also increase your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings.
This can be an overwhelming task. It has more differences than similarities from traditional management of one’s brand, service, or reputation. Familiarity with the old ways cannot hurt, though, especially when it comes to human connections and emotions. Challenging as it can get, learning the intricacies in of this modern tool can prove worthy of investment of both time and money.
In the long term, your company will likely be required to have a dedicated team of employees and sufficient resources to ensure your brand image stays at the forefront of product demand. Another option is to avail of the services of a social media reputation management agency to do the job for you. Nevertheless, the benefits you can reap from this volatile investment can be worth it. With proper strategies in place, you can find your business engaging with a huge community of loyal fans and customers and developing a lasting relationship between your audience and your brand.