One of the Future Social Media Challenges Facing the Organization – Online Reputation
Social media continues to gain presence and relevance in today’s business. With each passing day, organizations have to identify and stay abreast of social media channels, understand how each fits into their business plan and how to best utilize them to achieve their growth goals. Social media plays an important role in inbound marketing and growing an online presence. The various social media outlets allow organizations to interact directly with potential customers as well as nurture existing relationships.
(The image by Universal Film Manufacturing Company in the Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Reputation (1921) - Film Daily Ad May 8 1921.)
Importance of Social Media
Attracting potential customers through building an online presence provides companies to not only discuss and share content that is relevant to their target audience and begin to build a relationship but it is also influential in search engine ranking and keyword searches. Just as important to building new relationships is nurturing current relationships. Social media allows organizations to directly interact and respond to customers by addressing concerns or showing appreciation for positive comments and feedback on their product or service. Both new and current relationship social media approaches are important to consider when managing your online reputation.
Fast Company, in a recent article discusses the impact and reach that social media can have on an organization. The statistics may surprise you! http://www.fastcompany.com/3021749/work-smart/10-surprising-social-media-statistics-that-will-make-you-rethink-your-social-stra
There are currently many social media channels for businesses to consider utilizing in their marketing strategy including:
- And more
Each social media channel requires a slightly different approach and each requires a good understanding of their buyers’ persona and the appropriate level of customer engagement.
Potential Issues in Managing Online Reputation
- Lack of Involvement
Each social media channel requires a different approach and close monitoring. Close monitoring and consistent involvement requires time and resources. Lack of involvement within existing social media accounts and neglect of interaction can send the wrong message ultimately creating the wrong online presence.
- Multiple or Conflicting Voices
Multiple people involved in managing the voice of the brand can also lead to difficulty in managing the reputation of a company’s online presence. With so many channels to manage and the importance of being consistently engaged, this can lead to the necessity of having different people managing the different social media outlets. Various people involved can create the opportunity to present conflicting views or stances on behalf of the organization.
As business continues to expand globally so does the need for a structured marketing strategy that outlines a clear direction for online reputation and social media. In addition, globalization requires an increased need to understand local cultures and perceptions and this can create additional challenges in managing the company’s online reputation. A business’s marketing strategy should include the appropriate social media channels to utilize for each region and how to use each one. Items important to consider include cultural fit and local understanding as well as how to manage languages barriers.
Managing a company’s online reputation is very important and there are several obstacles that you can encounter throughout the process. Having a strategy that is communicated to all appropriate parties can help to avoid or alleviate issues encountered.
A few online reputation management tools to consider:
- Have a Calendar
As a group, identify a schedule of items to post and discuss. What is important to the company for a specific month or quarter or items that should get extra attention provides clear direction on what should be discussed or promoted? Are there external branding issues that have come up that the global social media team needs to try and address and how they should address? What keywords or stance is the company taking for a specific issue or concern?
Have the team meet regularly to discuss any new key learnings, successes or potential problems that have come up. Keeping the team aware and involved will although the team to be better prepared when issues come up and know how to respond or manage.
- Chain of command
Certain situations may require special attention. Train the team to understand what those special situations are and when they should involve their superiors to ensure properly handling.
- 5 New Reasons CEOs Should Maintain Stellar Online Reputation Management, 1/18/2014, Cheryl Conner - http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2014/01/18/5-new-reasons-ceos-should-maintain-a-stellar-reputation-online/
- ZAPPOS: Their online presence doesn’t stink and neither should yours! http://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/zappos-their-online-presence-doesnt-stink-and-neither-should-yours
- Manage Your Online Reputation http://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/why-is-it-important-to-manage-your-online-reputation
(All accolades and credit for this tremendous blog post are for Brooke Cowell who is the author and content creator.)