Even if are still hesitant to jump into social media for growing your brand awareness, improving your search engine optimization, or promoting content, managing your reputation is a factor of social media you cannot ignore. If you aren’t active on social media that does not mean your customers, vendors, contractors, and others are not and they will be using social media to talk about your brand. Keeping up to date with the buzz around your company is an invaluable resource that will allow you to improve several areas of your business including:
- Customer service
- Usability of your website or product(s)
- Development of new products or services
- Content creation
Online reputation management (ORM) is a process you should start investing in now as the base of your social media efforts. ORM will not only will help you stay up to date with the voice of your customer but it will also help you develop your ongoing social media strategies by giving you ideas of what your target audience is looking for and what type of content is not yet available.
There are several tools that will help you in monitoring your brand, products, company executives, and competitors on several networks so that you able to quickly spot trends and respond to negative mentions. Here are a few tools that will get you a great start with ORM:
Hootsuite: Hootsuite allows you to manage several social network profiles on one simple online interface. It also allows you to manage your social network profiles with other team members. Hootsuite gives you the ability to create saved streams of keywords, queries, and tags. These saved streams will give you all the mentions you are looking for on Twitter. Hootsuite also allows you to see your Facebook Page wall posts by you, your team, and those who have “liked” your page. Hootsuite has several pricing plans but does offer a free version.
Social Mention: Social Mention is real time search engine which works very similarly to Google or Bing but instead of searching web pages, searches a variety of social networks and other real time web properties. You can quickly search for your company or other keyword and quickly see all of the mentions along with a sentiment score, which is neutral, positive, or negative.
Just having a monitoring solution in place will not give you reputation management; you also need a plan in place for how you will react to feedback. Keep in mind that feedback may come in several forms including positive comments, negative comments, informational requests, and support issues. You should create a strategy where you brainstorm all of the possible scenarios that you might encounter on the social web and develop a process for how you will respond. Remember that you do not need to respond to every comment or every person. Who and what you respond to should be developed when developing your online reputation management strategy. Having a team that has different views on what they should respond to and how they do it will lead to various customer experiences and will in the end have a negative impact on your brand.
Social media and online reputation management have become vital pieces of your sales, marketing, and public relations strategies. You really won’t know what opportunities are available to your company until you start listening.
About the author
Dustin Thompson is the Principal at Konnected Interactive, a Minneapolis Online Marketing firm specializing in helping companies create marketing strategies that create a strong brand presence, grow sales, and improve customer service.