For a business to thrive, it must have a great reputation. The number of new clients you get is entirely dependent on that.
Even moreso, the volume of repeat customers heavily relies on the overall reputation of your business / brand.
In a society driven by social media and other online platforms, your online reputation is everything. Every business needs to be conscious of its online reputation.
An excellent track record gives you a competitive advantage over your rivals. The good news is, you can use social media to achieve exactly this and much more. So how is this possible?
Design a Workable Social Media Strategy
If you are to manage your reputation and make your business soar to greater heights, you need to develop an all-inclusive social media strategy. Regardless of the social media platform you are using to engage your clients, take great care to follow these three important rules:
1. Stay Focused
After defining your niche, you need to focus your social media activities on topics that are relevant to that audience.
It is easy to stray when you lose focus, and to start doing things that are not in line with your initial goals. Doing so will prove detrimental to your business success, as you will be going against the same audience that took your brand to where it is. Undoubtedly, that will be the beginning of your reputation woes.
2. Keep it Authentic
Stop the madness of social media being a marketing platform where you can do and say anything. Stop for a moment and remember that these are real people.
Would you say what you are about to post to one of them in person? If not, reconsider posting it altogether.
3. Be as Informative as Possible
The content you share with the target audience should be meaningful. Why else would they spend time going through your posts?
You must strive to remain relevant and informative right from the beginning. Every post should reflect your desire to influence your target audience in the best of ways. Otherwise, you will lose respect among your clients.
Enhance Customer Relationships
Communication with customers can make or break your reputation. Social media provides the right platform to engage and build healthy relationships with your customers directly.
For a start, you need to find out what customers are saying about your brand. What are their opinions about your latest product in the market?
Keeping in touch with your customers will help you not only know their thoughts, but also help build meaningful relationships with them. Even more, it will show your target audience that you care.
What influence has your product had on customers? If you were to do things differently, how would they prefer it?
Such questions are critical to building relationships with customers. Soon enough, they will be free to share their thoughts with you, voicing their concerns more responsibly instead of using review platforms to taint your image.
Customers that feel attached to your brand and are better engaged are less likely to spill the beans on open review platforms. Even if they do, it will be easy to win them over, given the healthy relationship you have enjoyed in the past.
Otherwise, nothing will stop them from tainting your reputation at the slightest provocation.
Set yourself apart as an expert in the industry
I recommend that you keep sharing information about your product or industry with your target audience.
Well-researched posts can help you establish your authority as an expert in the field. The original posts can be on your site and you can then share them across various social media platforms. Your posts should remain relevant to the area of interest.
Over time, you will be able to command a huge following. Most importantly, you will gain massive respect from your clients.
Customers are less likely to explode when they have complaints against established brands, because they fear facing criticism from a huge network of satisfied customers.
Create and Control Conversations
If there is one perfect medium for exchanging ideas with your target audience, it is social media. Instead of going rogue with promotional messages, you can choose to post engaging content that will trigger a response from readers.
Go for interesting topics, especially on arising matters affecting your industry. It is even better if you can find something controversial and ‘contain it’ within your post.
Just in case you are out of ideas, the following tips can help:
- Always put your audience first. What is likely to trigger their reactions? People love things they can easily identify with. It might be as simple as an approaching holiday.
- Try success stories. It opens your world to that of customers. Clients will be able to understand your journey even as they appreciate the value you have been able to offer them over the years. You can even ask for their opinions and contributions at the end.
- Let them into your business by providing behind-the-scenes information. People are curious. What happens behind the scenes increases that curiosity instead of quenching it. You can garner some great attention by telling them something they never expected, or sharing something that is otherwise unknown among the public at large.
The real task isn’t starting a conversation with your audience; controlling it is. Clients will always have something to say about your brand.
If left uncontrolled, it can be explosive, tainting the hard-earned reputation of your brand in the process. Respond to their comments. Instead of avoiding or discouraging criticism, create comic relief out of them.
Most importantly, take lessons from them. And apply those lessons to continual improvement of your offering, messaging, and customer service efforts.
Everyone is in business to increase their revenue and boost profits. If used appropriately, social media can help you realise that dream and give you a deserving reputation in the process.
No matter how perfect your product is, it will never bring in profits unless someone knows about it. Word-of-mouth referrals have worked magic since time immemorial.
If you can get your clients to like and associate with your product via the social media, they will build your brand for you. Most importantly, they will take the word out to anyone who is willing to listen, enhancing your reputation in the process.
Online reputation management has established itself as the trend for businesses that want to succeed. Social media provides such a perfect launching pad for achieving that.
When social media is used appropriately, you can reap great benefits from it and tremendously improve your company’s reputation!
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.
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