Social media is an essential tool for brand reputation management. In today’s world, a single bad review or negative post can quickly spiral out of control and damage your reputation beyond repair. That’s right: those tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram pictures can make or break your company.
It’s more important than ever to have a strong online presence, and brands can no longer afford to avoid having conversations about their reputation.
Social media allows brands to connect with their audience in a more personal way, while building trust, loyalty, and credibility at the same time. In fact, 64% of buyers who feel a close connection with a brand are more willing to pay a premium price for its products and services.
So, what exactly is brand reputation management and what are the benefits that come along with it?
What is brand reputation management?
Brand reputation management is the process of monitoring and managing your company’s public image. It mirrors how customers perceive your business, its values, and beliefs. Your brand reputation reflects the company’s past actions and sets future expectations. In other words, brand reputation management is a powerful tool to influence how buyers see your brand by proactively responding to potential threats and seizing new opportunities to boost your online presence.
It’s important to have a strong brand reputation as it directly impacts your bottom line. It also allows your brand to increase revenue, retain customers, and attract top talent.
People buy from brands that share their values, build organic and trustworthy relationships. Moreover, people want to work for companies with a superior reputation as it brings them not only emotional satisfaction but also a sense of fulfillment and prestige. If someone says they work for Apple, for example, there are already certain connotations and assumptions you’ll make, without even knowing what they do, and that’s all because of reputation. The pride employees feel about the companies they work for leads to increased productivity, motivation, and a better workplace culture, which also means greater profitability for brands.
Reputation management is an essential part of any successful business strategy that includes many moving pieces, such as communications, marketing, customer experience, PR, and more. Modern companies must invest in a strong corporate culture and show a commitment to sustaining their competitive advantage, and brand reputation is a key part in this.
Impacts of social media on brand reputation
The impacts of social media cannot be overstated, especially for businesses. Numerous companies wish they could go back in time — imagine how many crises and how much lost revenue could have been avoided! But nothing goes unseen on social media (because if it is unseen, you’re probably doing something wrong!), and it affects your ever-evolving digital brand reputation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whether a brand will prosper or perish is highly dependent on customer feedback and perception. With the click of a button, people can share their experiences, thoughts, and criticisms with the world — whether good or bad — and this transparency makes reputation management more important than ever.
Having said that, this transparency can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, social media can do wonders for a brand’s reputation as it provides a direct line of communication for customers to share their experiences with your product or service. This communication can not only improve customer satisfaction rates but also grow brand awareness.
On the other hand, social media is also incredibly effective at spreading negative comments and otherwise badmouthing a brand. It’s why anger and outrage is often prioritized by the algorithms, after all – it’s great for engagement.
In some cases, a viral ad can damage your brand’s reputation in a matter of seconds. What’s more, a recent survey shows that 94% of consumers avoid particular businesses due to negative online reviews.
The bottom line? Consumers have more power than ever over your brand’s reputation, making it crucial to establish a direct line of communication with your audience. Proactive and positive interactions on social platforms allow consumers to voice their opinion, feel empowered, and ultimately remember your brand. And that’s exactly what you need: even in our technology-driven reality, word of mouth has never lost its power. If anything, it’s only gotten stronger as a recent study showed that 91% of consumers trust peer recommendations as much as online reviews.
In cases where customers’ concerns are left unaddressed, they may share their opinions or feelings in a blog article or social media post. This can add an entirely new layer of frustration for companies, especially if it goes viral—which is where social media monitoring comes in.
Benefits of strong social media reputation management
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, it is time to step up your social media game.
Here are some benefits of strong brand reputation management:
1. Attract new customers and business partners
Social media is your business card for the digital age. For some businesses, it goes even further than that, to the point where social media is their storefront, catalog, and register, all in one. And you should be mindful that potential buyers will always do their research. Companies with a good social media reputation are seen as more trustworthy and reliable, increasing the likelihood of potential customers doing business with you.
2. Retain your existing customers
By keeping your audiences engaged and being transparent in managing your business, consumers will be more likely to stay loyal. This loyalty can go a long way in increasing the customer lifetime value of your brands.
3. Enhance your brand recognition and build trust
Better engagement and long-term brand success are powered by authentic connections. According to Harvard Business Review, 64% of consumers say that shared values are the main reason that they have a trusted relationship with a brand.
4. Obtain valuable first-party insights
Establishing an open line of communication allows your brand to actually listen to your clients, stay on top of their concerns, and respond accordingly. These insights deliver real-time customer feedback, which allows you to strategize and plan for the long term success of your brand.
Strong social media reputation management is one of the best investments that your business can pursue and it should be taken seriously. It ensures that you are not only aware of your customers’ concerns so you can proactively address them, but also helps you earn their trust and loyalty.
How to manage your brand reputation effectively with VN Secure
When anyone can easily air their opinions, discuss, or criticize on social media, what should brands do to manage their reputation effectively?
Brands need to be proactive in managing and monitoring their online reputation, and social media is the key. The right social media screening platform can protect your brand from unexpected crises, allowing you to maximize social media’s potential while minimizing its risks. An effective social media reputation management strategy requires ongoing monitoring, engagement, and a proactive approach.
But what if there is an easier and more efficient way to tackle social media monitoring, while also eliminating the need for time-consuming manual research that is riddled with bias?
VN Secure is the most advanced AI-powered social screening and monitoring platform on the market. Not only does it provide you with social media reports going back decades and ongoing monitoring across major social networks, but it also sends real-time email alerts as soon as risky social media behavior is detected.
With VN Secure, you can automate processes, make data-driven decisions, and increase the profitability of your business.
Social media is a powerful tool that plays a vital role in brand reputation management. It can make or break your company in a matter of seconds. With the right solution in place and an effective digital reputation management strategy, businesses can quickly pick up any negative sentiment and address it appropriately before it is too late.
There is no doubt that social media has made it much easier for brands to connect with their audiences. With that being said, it is imperative to have the tools to monitor these platforms closely to protect against reputational damage and bad publicity.