It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
In today’s digital and social market, it takes so much more than driving visitors to your website to ensure success. Corporate or otherwise, reputation management, according to Wikipedia, (in the broadest sense) is the understanding and/or influencing of an individual’s or business’s reputation. It’s a term that should be getting a lot of people’s attention today, most certainly will be in the future, and not without good reason.
We can easily blame the social fabric of today’s communication platforms that have invaded our homes, offices, and life, but the fact remains: reputation management is destined to become synonymous with tomorrow’s social media managers.
As savvy marketers, I think we can all agree that in 2013, investing time and resources into a social media strategy plan has gone from desirable to a necessity. This trend also reveals, however, that the tipping point in public sentiment will go from ‘should have’ to ‘must have’ in 2014. Why and what does this mean for you? For starters, if you’re not already aware of the need to be proactive with regards to your reputation, you’re likely almost dead in the water already. But I did say almost, and if you begin now to pay careful attention to what others are saying (or not saying) about you and your brand, you’ll not only resuscitate your image, you’ll breathe new life into everything you do, and that will put you leaps and bounds ahead of the pack.
Where do we start?
Social media is no longer the indulgent luxury or pastime we once considered an option. On the contrary, it’s become so intertwined with how we effectively communicate with our audience and how our audience would choose to communicate with us, developing a strategy for managing this aspect of your business is not only essential, it’s crucial.
If you’re finding it hard to keep up with managing content on Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube, STOP and take a deep breath. Did you forget to throw in the rapidly growing channels Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and others? Not to overwhelm you, but keep in mind, this is where your customers are, and therefore, managing your brand requires that you be there too. If you’re willing to integrate social media with your content strategy, you can bet you’ll see an increasing impact of your effort in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue.
The benefits of social media are many and far reaching, including (but not limited to):
- Improved social signals (which are a factor in the search ranking algorithm)
- Company branding
- Improved brand awareness
- Word-of-mouth advertising
- Increased customer loyalty and trust
- Improved audience reach and influence
If social media has this much impact, why wouldn’t you?
To be most effective with your time, your social media strategy should include the inclusion of the tools/applications that make it easy for you to monitor, share and respond to what matters most to your audience. Here at Sigma, we’re partial to Hubspot’s social inbox because of its simplicity along with its ability to measure and analyze across multiple platforms, however, there are countless other tools available which will allow you to not only share, but analyze, measure, display, and create reports about your engagement efforts.
Either way, your plan to engage with your audience will take a fair amount of effort, at least initially, before you see the results you seek. If time is at a minimum, you may want to consider partnering with an agency to develop and maintain your campaign. Your ROI will pay off hugely, as maintaining a great reputation is worthy of any investment you’ll make and WILL ensure your success, this year and beyond.