How To Use Social Media to Maintain your Online Reputation For Small Business

How To Use Social Media to Maintain your Online Reputation For Small Business

Social Media Reputation Management can benefit to every size Businesses and across every industry 

You might not be a big fan of numbers but for-profit or not-for-profit you need them for your business’ day-to-day operations. Breaking even aside, all enterprises need clients. Finding an audience for your business is one of the most challenging feats you’ll ever pull.

Social Media Reputation Management

Now that we have a challenge at hand what do we do to solve it? Simple, check your calendar, it’s 2019 right? If we are all on the same page, check the current global population, after all, we won’t be trying to sell to aliens…yet. There are more than 7.7 billion people on earth; this is as per March 2019. The global internet usage as per June 2018 was 55.1%, and since the number is on an upward trajectory, we expect to be considerably higher today.

Now, let’s look at the next, and most important numbers, that we will obtain by looking up global social media usage. The number of social media users as per 2017 was 2.46 billion. It is estimated that the figure will reach 2.77 billion this year. If we do simple math (7.7 billion ÷ 2.77 billion = 2.78 {rounded off}) we can ascertain that more than a quarter of the world’s population are on social media (spending a minimum of 142 minutes per day); it is here that we will solve our big problem… finding an audience for your business.

What is Social Media Reputation Management?

Social media reputation management is the process of posting strategic content on social media platforms, monitoring social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.), and attractive with customers who talk about your brand and business.

Nowadays, social media reputation management covers even more channels: local business directories, online review sites, and business discovery apps. These are all digital platforms where customers can share their experiences with a business.

Although, the goal is still the same: to positively shape the consumer perception of your brand or business.

Possible Social Media’s Impact on Brands

With this empowering information in our hands, the next challenge is figuring out how we convert a quarter of the world’s population into your clients. If you are not planning to convert the billions of people on social media to paying clients (not-for-profit enterprises), there are business executives and entrepreneurs whose mouths are watering when they think of the prospect of converting a million (a drop in the ocean) social media users into loyal paying clients. And for the not-for-profits, think of what impact hundreds of thousands or even millions of social media followers can have on your brand.

Social Media’s Impact on Brands

After establishing that social media can impact your business in limitless ways, it will make business sense to create a handle for your enterprise. Well done! If you have accomplished this milestone. Now let’s talk business. When transacting with a person or a business, how much do you value their reputation? If kids don’t enjoy the company or engaging with kids or people with a bad reputation, then this is true for us, you included. You will always find yourself scrutinizing a business’ or individual’s reputation when the transaction involves money, or you deem it important since you will be investing your time. The same applies to your business (people will always scrutinize your business’ reputation), whether it’s online or not.

It is therefore vital to leverage your social media handle and presence to maintain your online reputation for many reasons other than it being good for business or your brand. While social media exposes your enterprise to billions of people across the globe, succeeding on these platforms does not happen overnight.

Individuals running one-man-operation businesses established corporations, and Small & medium size have to put in work. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t be here sharing the following best practices on how to use the influence of social media to maintain or improve your brand’s online reputation.

Setting Up a Social Media Handle With Niche Audience

You don’t need to be a social media guru to find the right social media platform that suits and complements your niche audience. There are vital questions that you need to answer before selecting a platform.

Asking yourself; who is your target audience? On which social media platforms are my prospective audience spending most of their time? What are they doing on these social media platforms? When on these platforms, what are they looking for? Who does my prospective audience interact with when they are online on these sites? What is their method of interaction?

Answering these questions will guide you when selecting a social media platform that’s best for your niche audience thereby making engaging easy. You may also want to know which platforms your competitors are successfully suing to engage with their audience.

Choose Your Brand’s Name Wisely

If you think finding a name is easy, you will be reconsidering your stand after realizing the weight of the name held by your brand. While you change your name can be done in an instant, doing it occasionally might harm your brand’s viability.

We won’t recommend going with a name you come up within the spur-of-the-moment (sometimes they might be great). Instead, go with a name that you will be comfortable within the long run.

If you are planning to use more than one platform, try using consistent names; don’t use Jane Doe on Instagram and John Doe on Facebook. It’s worth noting that character limits can hinder you from using your intended username.

Cross-Linking With Similar Across Platforms

When setting up social media accounts, there is one thing you should note. While separate entities run different social media platforms, this does not mean that the information you convey on these platforms needs to be different.

Social Media Across Platforms

As a brand, you should ensure that the information and story you post on one platform coincide with the information you post on other platforms; but do not mistake this to mean that you should be putting up a post on let’s say Instagram, then using the same post on Snapchat and even Twitter.

When you have more than one account across various platforms, it is necessary to stick to a similar message or story when posting; this means that your posts don’t have to be similar, but the message you are conveying has to be identical. For you to achieve this, you will have to cross-link and synchronize your social media activities in a manner that the synergies you create result in an impactful marketing campaign.

By cross-linking, your posts and information you make available to clients will be consistent meaning someone visiting your page on let’s say Instagram, and another one checking out your Facebook page end up receiving an identical message, with the information on these pages being part of a bigger marketing campaign. The details about your brand (location, mission, address, website, customer care details, and etcetera) are an exemption as they need to be similar.

Verifying Your Account

If you thought account verification was for celebrities and big if corporations, then you were wrong. As a brand or enterprise, however small or large, having a verified social media handle helps your target audience easily identify you from other brands trying to impersonate you.

A verified profile establishes your reputation as a serious brand or enterprise; hence your audience or potential clients will know that your handle is official and they can trust you. These days it’s common for a brand to have multiple accounts, such as fan pages that may have a considerable following, therefore, confusing clients on who’s legit and who’s not.

Populating Your Website

Now that you have a social media account, it is only logical to add a link to your website on your bio. While this is an excellent way of increasing traffic to your site, you should know that search engines like Google crawl websites while gauging their authority. Search engines do this to help them provide the most relevant search results to users.

Populating a website is done by increasing the amount of quality web copy on your site with the purpose of attaining higher SEO rankings. If your website has more copies and pages, there is a good chance that the search engines will deem you as authoritative.

The information posted on your website needs to be fresh meaning that you will have to update content on your site regularly. Populating the content on your website will help search engines rank you higher, therefore, more traffic to both your site and social media handles.

Post Regularly On Your Handles

One of the most effective ways of establishing your online reputation through social media is by posting regularly and posting quality. If you keep a social media feed with regular fresh content, users on the platform will receive the signal that you are authentic. It is advisable to create a posting schedule that will help to keep your handles up to date. A post a day is a great place to start.

All together it helps to keep the audience updated as well as engaged with the new ideas you want to push. which keeps your brand in the mind of your audience.

Maintain Positive Review

Positive Review

Maintaining online positive reviews is essential to establishing your reputation online. Whether the review comes using the star system (5 stars is highest) or via images, video, plain text, article, or blog, it is recommended to engage individuals who take their time to leave you a review. Don’t ignore the negative reviews as they provide unique opportunities to tackle challenges which can be good marketing.

It will help to identify the areas on which further improvements can be made. Managing good reviews on all the review platforms helps maintain your reputation according to the Google E-A-T( Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) parameter.

Monitor Activity

To do this, you have to know what is being said about you each time you are mentioned. Keeping track of your mentions helps you provide relevant feedback to your clients, therefore, increasing your brand’s online activity while also boosting its reputation and positive reviews.

These platforms provide a penal to analyze and monitor the activities which have been performed. These insights can be extracted on the basis of daily, weekly, monthly, and more. working upon this information will help you judge and improve your performance if acted upon promptly.

Respond To Customer Complaints Professionally

The downside to brand monitoring is getting negative feedback about your business. While your gut reaction may be protecting your business, it may actually be a mistake. Proper handling of customer complaints provides sympathy and understanding.

Never, never delete customer posts. Leaving negative comments on your social feed can be unpleasant, but deleting them can turn some complaints into angry crowds. Silent users can also bring their stories to the media, throwing fuel at an already burning social fire.

When responding to criticism, the best approach is to show your followers what you are hearing and what matters to you. Most people who complain do not seek compensation; They simply want to report bad experiences to others. By training your team to respond professionally and avoid making matters worse.

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