Your brand reputation on social media, just like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder, in this case, your target audience. Therefore, if you are not already investing a lot of time and efforts in brand reputation management, it’s time to start now.
As you enhance your presence on social media, you will find that interacting with your existing and/or potential audience is more or less constrained to monitoring communication problems, responding to their queries, attaining quality feedback for frequent improvements in the future and by and large building your brand’s credibility on social media.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not exactly a bad thing; but reputation management can get shambolic if you don’t apply the appropriate techniques.
Following are guidelines on how to manage your brand’s reputation on social media:
#1: Be Searchable
Register/purchase your brand’s unique username everywhere. It is extremely important to be searchable on social media platforms to find people who are finding you too. You need to understand that brand building is difficult when you don’t maintain the same handle across all social media networks.
Let’s look at an existing example. Micromax has an official page on Twitter but nobody seems to know about it. Many do talk about the brand but are not mentioning their handle. This is solely due to the fact that the most essential keyword-Micromax- is missing in the Twitter username/handle.
#2: Start Interacting
After securing your usernames and setting up profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare, LinkedIn, MySpace etc. you need to start getting involved immediately. Do you know what people think about your brand? Do you know what is being said about it? If not, find out.
Start interacting with active users, who have the power to influence others. Start interacting with existing loyal customers. Start talking to people who share interests connected to the brand or even those who belong to the same industry.
Bottom line being, start interacting NOW.
#3: Accept and Respond to Criticism
Accepting and responding to criticism is probably the most effective technique to enhance your brand reputation online. When people are exposed to criticism towards a brand and their positive and promising response in return, they believe the company genuinely cares about its customers. So make sure you monitor all accounts on social media carefully to avoid tarnishing your brand reputation, which might be extremely difficult to resolve or reversed later.
If someone is really upset and venting his/her spleen on a social portal, don’t get defensive. Instead, it would be wise to apologize and resolve the issue as soon as possible.
#4. Build Brand Credibility
Do you believe in the power of testimonials? If you don’t, you should. Sharing testimonials always helps you in building your brand’s credibility and positive reputation. You can track positive comments for your brand and share them with others on all social networks.
For example, you can ReTweet testimonials on Twitter.
Happy networking! :)