Social media is a powerful marketing tool with instant reach that businesses have never before experienced in the history of advertising. In our last newsletter, we explored the role that social media plays in SEO strategy. However, the influence of social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ extends far beyond the impact it has on your search returns. In fact, social media can profoundly affect your company’s online reputation in good ways – or bad ones.
Social networking has grown beyond helping old friends stay in touch to closing the gap between customers and the companies with whom they do business. Social media helps companies reach out to customers and communicate with them on a more personal level. Additionally, more people now look online before purchasing, with a whopping 92% trusting reviews of a business from other consumers. Today, there’s no better place for consumers to find honest reviews of companies than on social media. So, how can you manage your online reputation?
Leveraging Your Social Media Rep
- Set up alerts and searches. Simply Googling your business on a regular basis can help you keep track of what people are saying about you. You can also set up Google Alerts that can track and email any news stories about your business right to your inbox. This way, any time there is new content that concerns your business, you will be notified via email.
- Listen to your audience. Because so many consumers use social media to connect with the brands they love, using social media to address customer queries and complaints can go a long way toward building brand loyalty and trust. Pay attention to customer complaints and suggestions on your social media channels as they can present great insights into how to improve your business and the services you offer. Make sure you understand what your current and potential clients want and then give them something that exceeds their expectation.
- Stay engaged with your audience. How you respond to comments and posts people make on your social media accounts speaks volumes about your business and your brand. The following are some general rules to follow:
- Act fast – Because social media is real time, users expect fast responses. Never expect things to just go away. Ignoring questions or criticisms can make your company seem like it is uninterested in customer service, so be responsive, even, and especially, when responding to negative comments. Respond to positive comments, too – with a word of thanks and a “like.” This will reinforce to the positive commenters that they were heard and appreciated.
- Be nice – Going on the defensive about negative feedback is ALWAYS the wrong move. Try to reason with negative commenters and understand where they are coming from. Offer incentives or refunds if you feel the situation warrants it. By showing that you’re listening and that you genuinely care about making your clients happy, you’ll win respect and support from others.
- Be proactive – Provide information that your audience will find both interesting and informative. If you notice a discussion on social media that relates to your industry, get involved and provide your perspective, but avoid getting political or wandering into otherwise controversial territory. This shows others that you are a thought leader in your industry and can be trusted to provide sound advice.
News travels fast, and few things travel as fast as bad news. As social media continues to bring people and businesses closer and the world becomes a smaller place, staying on top of your digital reputation will become a vital part of your marketing strategy.
If you would like the assistance and strategy of an expert online marketing team for social media, content marketing, SEO, digital reputation management and more, contact the aging care marketing experts at corecubed.