The internet has done wonders for businesses, and companies have become more transparent in their operations. Both businesses and clients are benefitting from interacting with one another on social media platforms. Marketing for companies on social media has become a necessity because of the enormous exposure to large audiences. It can be easy to become focused on the benefits of this exposure, but have you ever thought of the drawbacks?
Your company can be severely impacted when this exposure becomes negative. We have all seen what happens when a company makes a marketing faux pas, a customer reveals wrongdoings about a business and many other blunders. Opportunities to damage your company’s reputation are increasing, so it’s critical to have some strategies in anticipation should something happen to your business.
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Below are some ways in which you can successfully manage your reputation throughout your business’ duration to establish and maintain a credible reputation for your company.
The transparency of your business has too big of an upside and is appreciated too much by your customers to not invest in maintaining a high level of online visibility. In fact, in our digital and connected world, it can look suspicious if you don’t have any social media presence. However, if you are operating within the law, policies, and guidelines, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Networking with your audience, other businesses, and prominent figures of your industry naturally carry considerable marketing and connection advantages. But, it is also a way for you to create your image and maintain your business reputation. In this case, it’s best to deploy a strong social media strategy on multiple platforms as well as other online settings.
Building relationships are essential to a business. Rutgers understands the business implications of networking when they say, “relationships are often made possible through networking, or the process of interacting and building relationships with those in related fields or lines of work.” Your social media and online content — blog, videos, and images — is not just about your services and products, but about the general goings on around your company. Your reputation will create your business personality, and it is how people will come to trust your company.
Another reason to network and maintain an online presence is to understand and listen to what people are saying about your business. If you have set up a strong social media presence and are networking with many customers and businesses, you can acquire a lot of insight into how people view your business.
People talk and share their opinions on social media; that is the nature of online communities. Social listening involves monitoring and interacting with people who talk about you on social media. Every comment, tweet, mention, etc., of you, is a direct reflection of your reputation. Listening, or viewing, this social commentary can tell you what you are doing wrong, what you need to work on, and perhaps most importantly what you are doing right. Knowing this information, you and your business can change direction if something is considered unsatisfactory by your customers, or expand on what is well received.
In the event of a mistake, accident, or any other undesirable result of your business operations, you’ll want to have already established communication with your audience to take offer explanations, and apologies to repair your damaged reputation.
Events That Can Damage Your Reputation (And What to Do)
Events that can damage your reputation range from something as small as a disgruntled customer to a catastrophic oil spill. Additionally, no business is too big to fail. You’ll need to maintain your reputation if you are a corporation the same as if you were a small e-commerce business. However, you should handle every issue quickly and appropriately. If you put off addressing a mistake, even a small one, it can look illegitimate and can ruin your credibility.
Given the internet age we live in, most current conflict arises online. Negative media coverage, social media campaigns, or negative reviews can be deployed to hurt your reputation. Aside from deciding to take down negative reviews, you and your business will have to address these problems openly and honestly. It is highly advised that you demonstrate total transparency when discussing your mistake, apologize when necessary, and give a full explanation as to why this mishap happened. In the instance of a smear campaign, take legal action if necessary.
Your reputation is your business and a bad reputation — in the eyes of the public — is a bad business. But the reality is that people make mistakes, including companies. The information above can help you minimize the damage done to your reputation, or if there is an explanation, avoid misunderstandings as quickly as possible.