Reputation is everything. Let me repeat that. Reputation is everything. As a business, what your customers think of you can literally make or break you. How you portray yourself online is how potential customers will see you and judge whether or not you are trustworthy or professional. Social media is a powerful tool, and if you use it properly, it can do wonders for your business. We wanted to give you a little advice on how to maintain your positive reputation online so we broke it up into 3 categories: audience, content, and personal branding.
Who is listening? What do they have to say? Well, don't just guess. Research it and create a plan.
- Create a target audience, or as we like to call them, buyer personas. What your business is selling may not be for everyone, so find who you are trying to market to and build your content strategy around what they are searching for. Do your research and be prepared.
- Engage. The best social media accounts have high engagement ratings. When someone takes time out of their day to ask a question or comment on your post, thank them. Every question or comment is an opportunity to connect with a customer or potential customer and better your business. Respond promptly and positively and always be helpful.
- Delete negative comments. I know, I know. That one bad rating on Yelp or angry comment on your Facebook post may seem like the end of the world, but it isn't. This is an opportunity for your business to show professionalism and that you care for your customers. Ask them about the problem and attempt to solve it. Apologize for what occurred and be as helpful as possible.
- Ignore comments. This isn't as severe as deleting comments, but it does deserve to be mentioned. This doesn't mean that you need to personally respond to each and every comment you receive, but definitely don't ignore any comments asking questions or voicing concerns. They want to connect, so make that connection!
Think your company "gets it" when it comes to reputation management? Then click here to learn how social engagement can be used to convert new leads.
What should you post? How often? On what platforms?
- Post frequently. Every audience has their preferences about frequency, time of day, and content, but across the board customers agree that if you are going to post, post often. There is nothing worse than going onto a page and seeing that they haven't posted any new content in over a month.
- Be original. Post original content at least once a week. You want to show your followers that you are a thought leader in your industry and that you have creative and innovative things to do and say. You want them to keep coming back to your pages because they know that something new, interesting, and fresh will be there consistently.
- Spam. Just don't do it. Post frequently, but for goodness sake, don't blow up their news feed. This does the opposite of what you are looking to achieve: it drives people away from you and your content. There is a fine line between posting frequently and spam; find it and don't cross it.
- Overshare. By all means, share what you as a business are doing. You want to tell your story and make your brand more personable, but just remember, this is a business. This isn't your personal account. What you put out there reflects the business as a whole, and you need to keep it professional and be mindful of your audience.
Who are you as a business? What is your company culture?
- Find your voice. Every business has a company culture and style that is unique. Share it. Show the world what it means to work for your business. This not only shows your followers who you are as a brand, but it makes you more human and more of a friend to them.
- Promote your brand. This is business, after all. You want to promote what it is that you do or sell and you want to promote it well. Make it interesting and fun. Make it so when people hear your name, they know exactly who you are for all the right reasons.
- Oversell. Yes, this is business. But overselling yourself seems desperate and like you only care about the numbers. People can smell a company that is centered around the sales from a mile away. Don't become one of those businesses. Care about your customers and promote yourself in a way that is appealing to them and invites them to you because they trust your knowledge.
- Change too often. Even here at Verge Pipe Media, we rebranded. It is a vital part of business. Sometimes, you just need a little newness to shake things up and give everything a fresh perspective. But don't do a complete 180 too often. You want to be consistent enough that when a customer thinks of you, they aren't confused as to who you are, or worse, they assume that you as a compnay don't know who you are or what you want.
Social media is a special tool that we are lucky to be able to use. But, remember: reputation is everything! By following these do's and don'ts you will ensure your company is set up to be an industry leader on social media.
Want to learn how to continue to use social media as a way to bring in more business? Click below to find out how to use social media to find new leads!