The always-quotable investment guru Warren Buffet once said that “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” (Source)
In the era of Snapchat, Twitter, and Facebook, that timeline has probably shortened from 5 minutes to mere seconds.
All it takes is a single tweet going viral and, in a flash, all your hard work can be destroyed.
That’s why the importance of carefully monitoring your online reputation can never be understated.
People are more armed with information than ever.
Before you know who your potential customer is, they’ve spent time researching what others are saying about you on social media channels, reading reviews, or blogs.
Whether you’ve got an established brand or are just getting started, here’s a 4 step game plan to building, monitoring and managing your online reputation.
Use Social Listening tools to hear what your audience is saying
Vigilance is the name of the game in social media.
No matter which social media channels you are active on, you must be listening all the time.
Admittedly, it’s impossible for a person to monitor every tweet, post, mention, hashtag, and Like manually.
Having an AI-powered social media analytics tool capable of both Social Listening and Sentiment Analysis is a must.
That way you won’t miss a single word being said about you, positive or negative.
Connect with influencers
No matter whether you’re in B2B or B2C, influencer marketing is a powerful tool that can provide you a massive boost in both credibility and reach.
Identify and reach out to influencers in your network and industry to work out an arrangement for content promotion or collaboration.
A few important things to keep in mind: understand the type of posts they do, how they tend to engage with other brands or organizations, and ensure they are consistent with how you want your brand represented.
That way, you can be sure their audience is a natural extension for your content or brand.
Go above & beyond with customer service
Whether you like it or not, social media is now a customer service channel and it’s a vital one.
According to a report by Oracle, bad customer service doesn’t just make you look bad, it pushes your audience into the waiting arms of your competitors.
On a more positive note, 71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to their friends and family (Source).
Treat every single customer service request, both positive and negative, as an opportunity to build your online reputation.
Do everything you can to get reviews
When trying to learn about something new, most people’s first stops are either Google or some sort of review site.
Whether it’s turning to Yelp for food, Angie’s list for a local contractor, or G2 crowd for software, we love to let others try first and then tell us how it is.
That way we avoid having to risk time, effort, or money ourselves.
One of the highest impact ways you can build an online reputation quickly is to have a strategy in place to A) drive your customers to leave positive reviews and B) come up with a method of answering negative reviews in a positive way.
Your customers’ word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool you could ask for.
Social listening and sentiment analysis give you the tools to know what and how your audience is talking about you.
From there, look for ways to turn every interaction with your audience or customers into a chance to look your best.
It may not take twenty years to build a reputation but it is most definitely a process, and an ongoing one at that.