3 Simple Rules for Protecting Your Social Media Reputation

With a few clicks, most anyone can find feedback about your business. Hit the social media platforms and you’ll see where customers share the good, the bad, and the ugly with anyone who’ll listen (or read). It’s gone beyond sending you mean emails: now customers are sharing the experience with millions of other potential customers.

How much damage could a post- pictures, text, or videos- do? Plenty. Perhaps there is a correlation between a video showing Domino’s employees doing unspeakable things to pizza and their recently launched marketing campaign introducing a new inspired pizza?

Here are some tips to come out smelling like a rose if the worst happens…

Understand Social Media

Social media reaches just about everyone, so take notice. Understand how big social networks work no matter what your niche. That means mastering how to talk with buyers on Facebook, sharing new info on MySpace, keeping in touch with Twitter, and managing personnel on LinkedIn. Of course, you can go far beyond those sites, as many social media marketers would highlight other forms like YouTube and Flickr.

Caution: Don’t put your or your business’ mug on any social media outlets unless you have the time or manpower to monitor them. Depending on the size of your business, this could be a full-time job. You can spend hours posting and responding so know when it’s time to give the reigns to staff and establish your rules of social engagement.

Become a “fan” of some businesses you like. Follow your competitors. Engaging as your customers will with your business will give a clearer picture of what works, what doesn’t, and to what people positively respond.

Monitor Your Name

You have to know your online reputation before you can protect or boost it. There are many ways to monitor new comments about your company. You want to be a player here so building a strong community works well. It’s also important to monitor beyond social networks. Google yourself and your business often. Set up Google alerts.

Caution: Make sure negative posts don’t achieve higher search engine rankings than your real URL. If that happens, counteract with fresh, positive content (press releases, web articles, new site pages, etc.) stuffed with your company name and relevant keywords.

Respond to Good and Bad- The Right Way

No matter how well you handle employees and buyers, there will be criticism. It’s easier to have thicker skin if you’re a Fortune 500 company, but for the average business, it hurts. The first thing to do is decide how to respond or if at all. Go with your gut on whether it’s going to blow over or not. Post about cheaper delivery elsewhere? Probably blows over. Employees smearing boogers? Quick and direct response required.

Caution: Don’t get caught up looking for the bad. Positive feedback is like a testimonial; respond and show your gratitude.

By Brenda Galloway