How to Build Your Online Reputation Using Social Media?
Building a solid, long-term reputation with your target audience has become one of the core elements of an online business. With people relying more and more on their own research to make purchasing decisions, it’s important that you keep up. This is why successfully managing your online reputation is an integral part of successfully managing your business. Creating an authentic online presence to represent you in the digital world is your way to build public relations and establish yourself as an authority. Doing so will increase people’s trust and will turn into the go-to person or your business the go to place that will serve their needs.
As you already know, online reviews have one of the most powerful effects on people’s buying decisions. As survey statistics have shown, 90% of people were positively influenced by positive reviews of the particular product or service and eventually bought it. While 85% were negatively affected by negative reviews and avoided the purchase. So it’s evident that in order for your business to survive, you’ll have to build a firm online reputation for it to rest upon.
There are a lot of places to do it, but social media is the most important. It is where people engage the most when they spend their time online, so it should also be the primary target for your reputation building efforts. Here are my top tips on how you can build yourself a truly powerful online reputation through the use of social media platforms.
Create a Firm Strategy
Developing a strong and comprehensive social media strategy has a few different variables. You have to know who your target audience is, what you can offer them and how. For that, you’ll have to use the right platforms and the right content, in order to keep the right people engaged and to reach as many as possible. Here are the most important things you’ll have to keep in perspective.
- Put Your Focus in The Right Direction – It is important that you have a clear definition of your niche and who you’re looking to reach. You should focus the majority of your social media activity in that direction and provide content that would interest said group of people.
- Once you know what group of people you’re looking to focus on, based on their demographics, interests and behaviors, you’ll have to select the right platform. For example, if you’re targeting males mostly, then Facebook is the way to go, if women, than Pinterest. If both, than it is Instagram and Facebook or all of the above. Just know which platform is your audience most likely to use.
- Be True To Yourself – Social media isn’t a marketing platform. It is a place to engage with the people you care about. If you’re looking to post cheesy and salesy commercial lines, it will be hard to catch your audience’s attention. Instead, use your own voice and talk to them in a manner like you would when you meet them on the street. Share what’s happening behind the scenes of your business, make it personal. Engage with them in conversation that they can relate to.
- Strive To Provide Meaningful Content – The content you create has to be meaningful in order for your strategy to be successful. It has to be useful or at least fun, for it to catch people’s attention. Create guides, tutorials, share tips and anything else that can be of utility. The more useful content you can provide for your audience the more engaged they will become. Usefulness is what turns your content into a connection point between you and your audience.
Converse and Connect
Social Media is all about connecting and creating conversations with people. It allows us to exchange ideas, build relationships and post whatever unique content we can to share the best of our lives. Here are a couple of principals to follow when creating content to post on social media.
Start Blogging – Blogging is the way to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. It allows you to share important and useful information with your clients and customers and attract more traffic to your website. It is also the perfect way to go more in-depth into who you are, what you do and what you have to offer.
Blogs are also great because they are incredibly easy to start and to regularly update. You ’just’ have to keep pushing out high quality content.
As you write your new posts, seek to spark a discussion and have people share their own experiences as well. Always ask for their feedback and have them know whether they liked what you share and whether they want more.
Once you have a blog post, post it on the appropriate social media channels and have people read it. If you can keep a steady stream of quality, than your blog will become your greatest tool for building a solid reputation.
Be Responsive and Accessible – Social media is the place for people to form a personal connection with your brand. This is why they would rather choose to reach out to you via chat and have you answer their questions. So give them the answers they need and start acknowledging their opinions. Don’t ignore their comments and opinions, but engage with them.
Always Be Involved – A lot of your social media presence isn’t about you. It’s more about acknowledging other people’s work and being connected with influencers. The quality of your connections is more important than the quantity, because that will build you an authentic online reputation.
Make It About Your Audience – You’re not making content for your own excitement or benefit. You’re doing it for your audience. So make sure to post content that they can connect and identify with.
Talk About Your Success – Okay, maybe you can make it a bit about yourself. Talking about your success is definitely something interesting for your fans to read. It is also a great way to clearly demonstrate your personal values. Ask your audience to share their stories as well and give some feedback on yours.
Share News Regarding Events in Your Industry or Niche – For a lot of people, social media is where they go to keep up to date with recent events. As someone who is already sailed deep into the waters of a specific industry, you can become the go-to person for the news on what’s happening in your industry.
Have a Plan For When Something Goes Wrong
Nobody’s reputation is absolutely flawless. Sometimes people mess up and they have a massive audience to let them know about it. It’s just the way things are when your brand doesn’t live up to the expectations of your audience. When this happens, follow up on any negative reviews and comments you received on various social media platforms and see how you can protect yourself or make amends for your mistakes.
Of course, you know that customers aren’t always right, even though they are the ones who have to be satisfied. They don’t see the full picture and it isn’t your responsibility to make them see. You just have to make sure that you don’t over react and escalate the situation. Try having an honest conversation instead and see what you can resolve through a discussion. The fact that you’re listening to peoples’ opinions will already start to resolve the problem. You should also share what steps you will take to resolve the problem.
You don’t have to try to control the situation. It can be indeed frightening to let your name and your released content control your reputation. But without doing that, there is no reputation building anyway. It’s your only way to build a reputation. So you have to be willing to give up control and let people share your content and say whatever they want about it. Don’t worry about any negative behavior around your business or brand, because there is always a way to react to it.
There really is no way to do business online without establishing a solid reputation that speaks about your reliability. You have to invest into steadily building your profile as a thought leader and influencer. Once you jump into building your reputation, you have to work hard and let your content do the work. It’s a slow and steady process but the more you invest into it the more you will get out of it. Once people recognize you as a thought leader and your business as a good investment, you’ll have a steady stream of clients.
I hope this article helped you learn something new today and that we’ll see you again soon in the upcoming one!