Social media is a defining contemporary invention, with wide-reaching impact on society and culture as a whole. Connecting with others has never been easier, and the ease of these connections has re-shaped the way we interact with one another and the world around us.
From a business perspective, social media has gone from novel outlet to necessary tool. Social media is a powerful thing, and, when used correctly, can help a business consolidate its success and even expand further. However, social media can also be something of an existential threat if not managed properly – with poor social media nous leading to the potential for serious financial consequences. How can you ensure your brand is protected on social media?
Instituting a Social Media Policy
One of the primary uses for social media within a business is as a form of marketing. Products and services can be easily advertised to engaged consumers, and outreach to new customers is made easier with targeted advertising packages.
In this way, your brand’s social media is an extension of the brand itself – another public face that requires careful management. Just as a run of advertisements would be carefully crafted to portray your business correctly, so too should your social media presence. Setting a policy for employees to follow is a sure-fire way to control this.
Customer Service and Social Media
Your brand’s social media presence is necessarily intertwined with its customer service mission, with your various platforms acting as gateways to interaction and communication. Potential customers might use comment sections under your posts to voice queries about your product or service; direct messaging in these platforms can often also be the first choice for contact by existing customers.
As such, your approach to your social media presence should be as intentional as your approach to answering customer queries directly. Training your social media personnel alongside customer service representatives can be helpful in this regard.
Responding to Negative Reviews
Every business will eventually encounter a customer that is unhappy with the quality of your product, or the service they receive in receiving said product. It is impossible to please everyone, and there are a number of faultless ways in which a customer experience can become sub-par; regardless, it is your prerogative to ensure customer reviews are treated in the best possible faith.
A proactive approach to negative reviews can minimise the impact of those reviews – whether by correcting the record with an honest account of your dealings with the customer in question, or an earnest offering to make it right. A measured approach to review responses will temper your reputation.
Tracking Brand Mentions
Social media also provides a platform for consumers to voice their opinions of a product or service – for better or for worse. Ex-customers may use their platform to complain further about their experience with your business, while others may seek to undermine your reputation in other ways.
Tracking brand mentions on social media is an important facet of maintaining control of your reputation. By setting up alerts for mentions, you can catch and dispel defamatory statements as they arrive. You can also keep an eye for any potential PR issues, and ensure you have a swift and robust response that mitigates any long-term impact on your brand image.