Reputation is a living breathing petulant teenager. One minute you’re the talk of the town, the go-to business du jour. A bad review here and a rumour or two later and you could be hit where it hurts – in your turnover figures.
The first thing to note is that business reputation isn’t something that goes away when you’re not especially well resourced to deal with it, and it isn’t something you can boost when you need it on your side to help increase traffic during what should be your peak trading times.
But, where to begin? Face to face customer service can be fleeting and difficult to leverage in terms of building a reputation, although a fast, accurate and friendly service never hurts. Social media is where things get interesting (new to social media? Don’t worry. Check out how to start your first social media plan). That’s why social media is where we’re going to begin our delve into reputation management for beginners.
Why go small when you can go big
If you think that having a twitter account with a weekly post about some drab and boring industry news is in any way part of reputation management, you’re a little lost at sea and you need rescuing.
Basically, your reputation is going to be split across demographics whether you like it or not. This means that you need to match your social media presence to the platform audience. For example, LinkedIn is perhaps the most industry-minded social media platform of them all, so this is where you’d build and manage your reputation based on reporting in-house news and recent successes. Save the ice bucket challenge videos for Insta and Facebook. Twitter has emerged as the ‘witty’ platform, where you’ll find reputation management playing into people’s appreciation of wit and banter – reply to comments here in a way that gets laughs and you’ll go down a storm.
What we’re saying is that social media is a multi-headed dragon. How many of those heads you choose to take is up to you, but we’d start with all of them and work back from there until you find the platforms that engage your audience best.
Listen and blog (or create other content)
Your reputation will go stagnant if your online presence wanes. Listen to your audience. Create content on the things that matter to them. This could be blogs, videos, infographics, giveaways, even something like introducing a loyalty card …
Whatever it is that’s hot on the lips of your audience needs to find its way into your content output. In this way, customers will feel valued and your reputation will quietly begin to gather word-of-mouth style likes and online very visual likes.