There are very few things more worrisome to a business than when a person’s negative comments go viral on social media. It is not that hard to figure out why. We have all read or heard the stories of a company suffering the consequences when a negative online occurrence ignites a firestorm. It can leave any business or organization feeling almost powerless. The good news is that there is a way you can take control and prevent such things from ever happening.
What is Reputation Marketing?
As a business, you have likely heard the term “reputation management.” This is the process of restoring your reputation after it has been damaged because of a negative event either online or off. However, the well-established discipline of reputation management is reactionary. This can range from a negative news story to the accumulation of bad online reviews. However, with the growing use of social media websites, directories, and other platforms, it is an opportunity to show off your company’s high-quality customer service as a marketing strategy.
The field of reputation marketing is the union of brand marketing and reputation management. In an online world where customers comment, complain and ask questions in real-time, reputation management and brand marketing cannot stand as individual and distinct disciplines. The debate over whether or not to have an active social media presence is over. The comments and feedback left by your customers can dramatically impact the reputation of your company.
Things can quickly spiral out of control when a comment or question attracts or inspires a conversation that turns sour. This is why reputation marketing is becoming a prime focus of many companies’ online strategy. Companies must protect themselves, but protect themselves in a way that is carefully tailored to their target audience and ideal customers. Consequently, reputation marketing is an effective method of showing off an organization’s expertise, values, ethics, and business practices.
Ways Social Media Can Harm Your Business
Social media has made it easier than ever for businesses and customers to interact and grow their relationships. Nevertheless, it can harm your business if you don’t understand how to control and direct your social media channels. Arguably, social media has become the most powerful form of media in history. It can help a small business grow faster or bring it to its knees overnight. Misunderstood or misused, social platforms can devour your marketing resources and devastate your reputation. Here are some reasons why:
- Nothing Ever Really Dies – Once a conversation spirals out of control on social media, it never truly goes away. Even if you have the ability to get things under control, it can come back to haunt you at any time. We have all seen the news reports when a past post or tweet was used against a politician, celebrity, or major brand.
- Poor Engagement and Outreach – Those who are new to social media will often use traditional marketing techniques, which includes a lot of self-promotion and little two-way conversation. However, when a customer has a comment, question, or concern, the first place they go is often to social media. They expect you to engage with them and address their concerns. If you don’t, you are labeled a spammer.
- Failing to Monitor Conversations – Even if you don’t have an active social media presence, you can be sure that customers are going online to share their bad experiences with your company. Monitoring online conversations are a way to learn what is important to your customers and improve. Very often, it is an easy fix.
- Not Setting Rules for Employees – It is sometimes a good idea to have employees post comments, upload photos, engage with customers, and more. It can make your company more authentic and human. Regardless, one poorly thought out post or reply will severely damage your reputation. It is important to create a clear set of rules and provide oversight.
- Positive Feedback Is Not Rewarded – Along the same lines as word-of-mouth marketing, all the social activity surrounding your brand is identified as “social proof.” It is a well-established fact that consumers are more influenced by the opinions of strangers than any marketing message you can craft. When you reward positive feedback, you encourage more people to share their good feelings and experiences.
How Online Help Desk Software Can Help
The need for online help desk software that integrates with social media, like Facebook and Twitter, is greater than ever before. If a comment or tweet is left unaddressed, you are not only losing an existing customer, you are also losing potential customers. One upset or agitated customer can snowball as they attract negative comments from others who may have had a similar experience or those who simply want to sympathize. You need an easy way to socialize, engage, and support your customers.
Online Help Desk Software must provide multi-channel support that includes and embraces social media. While not every social mention will require a ticket or a response, the more you know about the customer and past interactions, the better you can place their concern in context. Did they try to contact the help desk or support via a phone call or email before reaching out on social media? What was the outcome? Regardless, because of its fast paced and public nature, social tickets cannot be treated in the same manner as a standard ticket.
Ultimately, reputation marketing requires the regular monitoring of a brand’s social media channels coupled with the shrewd use of each platform to promote your brand and manage your reputation. The better your reputation marketing highlights your company’s expertise, values, ethics, and business practices, the more new customers you can attract.