Reputation management (by wikipedia) is the understanding or influencing of an individual’s or business’s reputation. It was originally coined as a public relations term, but advancement in computing, the internet and social media made it primarily an issue of search results. Some parts of reputation management are often associated with ethical grey areas, such as astroturfing review sites, censoring negative complaints or using SEO tactics to game the system and influence results. There are also ethical forms of reputation management, which are frequently used, such as responding to customer complaints, asking sites to take down incorrect information and using online feedback to influence product development.
As a social media marketer this includes the management of a company/brand’s image and brand message, through engaging the brand’s target market.
So, your company has a Facebook Page, a Twitter account and a LinkedIn profile that you post to once a week. You’ve even gotten likes from all your colleagues and family members but still can’t seem to get anyone else to like your page, let alone share your posts, comment or even like them. Thinking that you are going to get anywhere with such little effort is a common mistake. Unlike traditional marketing, where you could, for instance, put up an average sized billboard next to the freeway and wait for the sales to roll in, social media is a lot more time consuming and work intensive.
The minimum amount of time recommended to spend on a company’s social media is 6-8 hours per day, before any sort of results are seen. During this time the marketer/manager should spend at least an hour following and sharing content from leaders in their industry, or just monitoring their content and type of posts to gain an understanding of what type of content generates the best engagement. This monitoring process helps with the development of your campaign strategy and helps to get one step ahead of your competitors by filling in what they are leaving out.
This is just the beginning, now comes the fun part: Engagement, my pet peeve. This is where creative experiments come into play. You basically need to keep posting until you get results, all-the-while measuring post reach, click-through-rate and then utilizing this data to set a benchmark of preferred content to follow in your future posts. Then add calls-to-action to each post to entice your audience to click, like, share and comment. You also need to remember not to sound too salesy or spammy, this will cause people to unfollow, unlike and maybe even report you (yes, people can be seriously picky).
Then, I would recommend installing your social media networks’ apps on your smartphone so you can keep on top of comments, always answer comments, even if you just simply acknowledge them with a like. Never leave a comment un-answered for more than 24 hours. Also look at social media management apps such as Hootsuite, that allow you to track mentions of your hashtags and company name (including all misspelled variations). This is vital for picking up on negative feedback, and can often help you extinguish the fires while there is still just smoke, social media has the potential to turn anything viral… fast.
These are the basics of ORM, I will be posting another blog in continuance.
Please let me know about your problem areas in social media in the comments below, I will do my best to answer you, or even respond with a blog.