From building relationships through direct communication with your fans to building a consistent brand image for your business, social media helps connect companies with millions of people each month.
How people perceive you on social media is reality, which is why you need to create and maintain a positive image of your brand and make sure any negative perceptions are taken seriously and acted on. Social media is the most direct way for people to interact with your business online, and their feedback matters for both retaining current customers and attracting new ones.
This means that social media plays a vital component in your online reputation and brand perception.
Here are some ways you can use social media to improve your online reputation and key indicators to monitor along the way.
Focus on Engagement as Your Primary Metric
If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably heard, “but social media doesn’t make us money!” from an executive or business owner at least once.
Being a savvy social media marketer, you know that the power of social media is connection, not conversion.
When using social media for reputation management, you are still looking for a level of community engagement from your audience and the definition of “conversions” slightly changes from your normal e-commerce or appointment scheduling.
To truly engage with social media followers, you have to be willing to listen to what they say, even if it isn’t positive. This means you need to understand the sentiment of their posts and know how to respond to them.
To build trust, your brand can’t use social media only to push marketing efforts. Social media is supposed to be a two-way communication, not a dark void to deposit a one-sided conversation. You can’t be afraid to respond to both the positive and negative feedback that your customers offer.
People not only will feel better, but also trust your brand more if they see you taking the time to respond to both good and bad reviews. It shows that your business cares about its customers and that you are willing to make the changes necessary to improve their experience.
Responding to Negative Social Media Reviews
Here’s a quick guide for how to respond to negative reviews on social media:
- Listen to the customer’s problem and take it seriously
- Confirm the interaction with your staff before responding
- When responding, thank them for the feedback and tell them you take it seriously
- Provide a solution or point of contact for the problem they encountered
- If they ordered something, give them a status update on where it is
- Invite them to try your service or product again
For a more in-depth look at responding to negative reviews in general, you should check out our complete guide on how to respond to negative reviews.
Bad reviews are going to happen. When they do, you want to make sure you have the right plan in place to continue to build positive community engagement.
Build Your Brand on an Emotional Level
Maybe you’ve heard that people buy through emotions, not through wallets.
Social media is no different.
To stay on the top of your customers’ minds, you need to build more than a brick-and-mortar complex where you are conveniently there to sell them something. You have to transform yourself into something much larger, something emotional.
Why did that Olympic commercial by PNG work so well? Because it had such an emotional payoff that people still talk about its impact years later.
If you are trying to improve your online reputation or going into crisis mode to combat a negative reputation, you will want to include emotional elements in your social media strategy. Telling success stories of your customers, humanizing your staff and solidifying yourself as a member of your local community will help you cultivate a positive brand sentiment.
You may even want to get involved with social activism or responsibility. If you are making new efforts to protect the environment, talk about it online. When you support the local animal shelter, show your employees volunteering there.
Measure the Right Things
When it comes to knowing your numbers, you want to make sure you aren’t just tracking vanity metrics on your social accounts.
Focus on customer sentiment metrics (through social listening tools), the number of reviews on different platforms, the volume of quality reviews and online community engagement. Followers, impressions and other surface-level metrics don’t tell the full story.
You don’t want followers. You want engaged fans.
Improve your Services and Products
The most important part of using social media to improve your online reputation management is to provide the best possible products and services for your customers. That means when you don’t deliver on customer expectations, you own up to it and promise to do better… and then do it.
Your company might have a bad reputation for customer service, products or otherwise, whether it’s deserved or not. Social media can provide the feedback you need to fix what people dislike about your offerings.
Your social media account also provides a great way for you to communicate changes to your customer service or products. If you notice a lot of similar complaints, make the changes necessary and then communicate them to your social media followers. They will appreciate the transparency and honesty.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I take customer feedback seriously?
- Are we responsive and helpful when customers have valid complaints?
- Do we make the improvements they ask for?
- How can we create a great customer experience?
If you can answer all of these questions positively, you are on the right track!
We are Here to Help You Improve Your Online Reputation on Social Media
If you run the marketing or customer experience teams for your business, you need a great online reputation, and social media is just one of the places for customers to provide reviews.
At Binary Fountain, we’ve developed the perfect reputation management software to make it easy for companies to take control of your online presence across all of your social media platforms and website listings. Discover the valuable customer insights you need to improve your business, all in one place.
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist