Reputation. It’s important. For business owners it’s the difference between success and failure, as people talk about you and your product, blog about it, tweet about it and of course tell everyone whether they like what you do, or hate it.
Social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook have evolved from a soapbox for people to stand on and shout about how they feel, to respected information streaming platforms - even more so with Blogs, as anyone can now become a critic or journalist.
For marketing managers, reputation management is a full time job, as this means hours scouring the internet to see what the word is on your product. This practice is vital as the savvy business owner can then address any issues or promote any positive vibes quickly and effectively. To do this though, you need the right tools for the job. Reputation and social media management is key to success in an online world full of User Generated Content (UGC) as the average person on the street has the power to help build or destroy your reputation with a simple #hashtag or online review.
Everyone does it – whether it’s tweeting about a bad meal at your local restaurant or leaving a scathing review of that hotel where a cockroach decided to engage you in a fight to the death over the glory of that free pillow mint - chances are yourself and your customers have taken to the internet to talk about an issue they’ve had. So how do you manage it?
On a human scale, a Spanish man has won the ‘right to be forgotten’. In a case that saw an EU court uphold his complaint about how a Google search for his name brought up reputation damaging links from nearly 20 years ago, Google were ordered to remove links and data that were "inadequate” and “irrelevant” as the search engine giant was returning users to articles about his home being repossessed thus damaging the man’s reputation. This is of course a ground-breaking development in effectively managing your reputation, but for businesses there are easier ways to manage your online reputation than going to court.
We've highlighted a few points below:
1. Make sure you’re aware of what people are saying
It’s imperative that you are up to date with what people are saying about your brand. Do they like it? Do they hate it? This will help you tailor all your responses and create a marketing campaign that could save or further your brand, based on customer feelings.
2. Turn this into a learning experience
When managing a business, it’s important to stay in touch with how your customers are interacting (or not) with your product. They are your best ‘testers’ and of course the key to your success. If you own a shoe company and everybody says your shoes are uncomfortable, think about how you can change them based on user reviews.
3. Don’t ignore feedback, good or bad.
Providing customers with bad customer service is one thing, but ignoring them altogether is dangerous. Engaging with customers is important as it lets them know they are important to you. If they are having an issue and reach out to you online via social media, respond openly. This lets the customer know they are being dealt with and shows others that you care. Furthermore, if they are saying good thinks about your product, thank them and engage them to create a greater sense of community. If for example they’ve bought a new pair of trainers from you and are raving about it, ask them if they’ve beat their best time on the treadmill yet .
Effective reputation management can mean greater success for a business, and is a vital element in your marketing campaign. At Hit Search, the online marketing experts, we can help you manage your reputation and find out how people are engaging with your product, helping you tailor a marketing campaign to suit.
In the coming months we’ll be launching a new software service available to businesses and sole traders that gives them the tools to see what the public are saying about their product - all helping to manage your social media profile and reputation effectively.
Stay tuned for more blogs on effective social media and reputation management and the upcoming launch of our new service.