If social media isn’t an important part of your business’ reputation management strategy, it needs to be, because the truth is that…
Social Media Can Make or Break Your Online Reputation
Your online reputation consists of more than just your reviews on Yelp or Google; it encompasses every aspect of how your customers and prospective customers see your business — which absolutely includes your business’ social media presence. In this blog, we’ll explore the many ways that you can use social media to build the kind of brand you want online.
#1. Social media gives you direct access to your audience.
Whether it’s on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, each and every one of your social media profiles gives you a way to speak to your audience directly. Most methods of communication between a business and its audience are more general, like direct mail, newsletters or email blasts, but with social media, you can send a message to a wide audience while also connecting with your customers one on one.
#2. Social media gives you a chance to respond to feedback publicly.
While you can respond to reviews on Yelp, Google and every other review site, nothing beats responding to a review on Facebook. And the reason for this is that responses on Facebook are more visible and readily available to your audience. Whether you’re responding to positive or negative reviews, doing so on Facebook will help you to show off your customer service chops to an audience that pays close attention, rather than just to whoever happens to look at the review on Yelp or Google.
#3. Social media gives you the opportunity to share your story.
As we mentioned, social media gives you a chance to connect with your audience on a deeper level, more emotional level and share your story with them. Stories are one of your most powerful mediums for making a connection with customers and prospective customers, because people can relate to stories and humanize your business. Stories tug at the heartstrings, making your brand more memorable.
#4. Social media allows you to share the ways you give back.
Giving back to your community not only buys you karma points, but it also does great things for your reputation offline. However, with the help of social media, you can harness the power of giving back to improve your online reputation as well. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should brag about donating to a charity or volunteering; there are a lot more subtle ways to let the world know about your philanthropic endeavors. One great option is to post group photos of your team volunteering or to share information about an upcoming event a charity you sponsor is holding. You could also use Facebook and other social media platforms to raise funds for nonprofits and other charities.
#5. Social media is the perfect place to brag about individual employees.
Sure, your business’ reputation is important for attracting new people to your service or products, but it goes beyond that. Your reputation also affects your team, including what kind of employees you can attract, as well as the satisfaction of your existing employees. The unemployment rate is low right now in the U.S., which means that employees have options, which means that maintaining a reputation they can be proud of and a work environment they thrive in will go a long way toward keeping great people on your team.
You can use social media to both improve your reputation and build employee morale by highlighting your team’s accomplishments, as well as individual employees who stand out. If you have an employee of the month program, don’t keep it internal; share it on social media!
#6. Social media makes it possible to highlight the impacts of your service or products.
Small- to medium-sized businesses impact individual lives throughout the United States each and every day. Whether it’s a jewelry store that helped to recreate or salvage an old family heirloom or a restoration company that helps a homeowner regain peace of mind after a flood or a fire, businesses are making a difference in people’s lives. If a customer shares a story with you about how your business impacted them, share it on social media (with their permission of course)!
#7. Social media allows you to share your mission and your vision for the future.
Customers who are bought into your company want to know what your plans and goals are for the future, and there’s no better place to share it when them than on social media. Your company’s mission — the “why” behind what you do each and every day — is something that you should absolute share with your audience. It takes a lot of time and effort to run a business, and chances are, you aren’t doing it because you have luke-warm feelings toward the business. No, you do what you do because it drives you and because you are passionate about it. And sharing that passion — as well as what you hope to achieve through it — will reinforce loyalty in your existing customers and give new customers a reason to choose you over the competition; plus, it will help to shape your entire social media brand.
#8. Social media is a great place to share your successes.
When your business receives an award or some other form of recognition, where and how do you share it? Do you send an email, push it out on a newsletter or even write a press release? All of these are great options, but the best is simply to share it with your followers on social media. This type of recognition will help to further separate you from your competition and give consumers a reason to choose you. Plus, it’s also a great time to build employee morale by recognizing your team’s efforts in your achievements.
Social media plays a big role in your business’ online reputation — make the most out of it.
Social media is a powerful thing in many ways, but when it comes to your reputation, it could be your saving grace or the straw that broke the camel’s back. Luckily, with a little time, hard work and know-how, you can harness the power of social media to make your reputation everything you want it to be.
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