>Reputation Management- What Do Your Customers Really Think of You?

8 06 2010

>Reputation Management, in other words, “damage control”, is a crucial part of any marketing program. Practicing it can be very beneficial to your business whilst using internet social networks. This is the “listening” side of social media, which is as important if not more so than all the tweets, posts, and messages you send out combined. However, it’s important to keep in mind that when blogging, posting, or tweeting information, being honest about your company and keeping your tone professional is always the best business practice.

How to Listen
We all remember learning “listening skills” in school, and the same rules apply to social media reputation management. You need to pay attention to the right people, in this case your clients and your competition, to see that they’re saying about you online. Some monitor what they blog, post, or tweet about in an effort to reach a specific audience. Some listen in to any conversations about their brand or niche.

The fact of the matter is that more and more people are relying on search engines to search people, potential employers, and even businesses and business owners. If your profile or business name comes up at the top of the list, but shares negative information, you could potentially lose a sale before they ever visit your website or your store. You need to be aware of what’s being said about you online so you can do damage control in case of any negative reviews.

Social media marketing allows you and your business to go viral. You have to decide how much information is too much and, on the flipside, how much is just enough. It’s important to find that fine line and stick to it. You have to be attentive to what you’re blogging and/or tweeting about because you never know who is reading and researching about you.

As I’ve mentioned before, using social media outlets allows you to have a one-on-one relationship with your client base—they can directly interact with you and vice versa. Using reputation management can allow you to adjust your marketing plans to alter your readers’ perception of you or reach out to a specific audience. Using this practice can allow you to build your own social network and create the image you want for yourself and your business.

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