Social media can be an ideal platform for your brand. It offers access to a large number of people, and provides a range of advantageous marketing efforts that could help you achieve growth. Despite the potential benefit, many brands have faced significant loss of stature from their online activity. It has even affected other aspects of performance, with these brands reporting an offline hit as well. Is joining social media beneficial or harmful for your brand? This guide helps to break down the possible advantages and risks of setting up on social media for your business. It also provides insight on how brands can recover a damaged reputation on the avenue.
Can social media be beneficial for your brand?
Social media has been championed as the biggest avenue for marketers, and rightly so. It offers access to over 3.7 billion active monthly users, which dwarfs any other traditional avenue of marketing. Unlike radio, print and TV sources, social media offers horizontal interaction between parties, which facilitates personal selling. It is markedly better than any other available alternative. Users also display a high level of interest in brands, with an over 80% average interest levels across multiple platforms.
Social media can be an ideal interface for brand and client interaction. As business takes a more virtual front, it represents a trustworthy and popular avenue through which followers can research and keep up with brands. The potential for this platform to be used by brands in growth is too big to ignore.
Are there any risks that could arise from social media use?
As a brand, your reputation holds a significant influence over other aspects of performance. Few people will be interested in engaging in business with you if you are untrustworthy, or generate a negative perception from other users. It could significantly impact your ability to grow, because metrics such as sales are based on relationships with your clients. The importance of a good reputation cannot be overstated in an age where business is evolving into a more virtual front. If clients cannot trust your brand, they will consider any transaction that is not carried out physically as too risky. If you lose out on the right amount of people, your brand may be unable to recover. You need to monitor your activity carefully to ensure that you do not attract such consequential effects to you.
How can you ensure the right social media activity for your brand?
Is there a single way to ensure the ideal social media activity for your brand? While there is no such solution, creating a social media policy could help. You need to develop an ideal social media policy that details out how your representatives should engage on social media. This could detail the frequency of posts and the quality of content, as well as offer insight on your expectations of their representation. It can be a great preventive measure, and allow you to take decisive action in the event that any damage is done to your brand. You can train your social media team to handle interactions with clients regardless of the nature o their commentary, as well as provide a framework for other aspects of their activity.
You may consider using paid advertising options instead of overly advertising your products and services directly on your social media pages. For instance, while automatic instagram comments will boost the popularity of your posts on the platform, posting advertisements outright on the platform will generally push away followers from your brand. By investing in paid advertisement options, you would be able to market your brand to your potential clients without negatively shaping their perception. Advertising through these options will also offer better access to your target audience than organic advertisements through your account, with the latter generally restricted to people who already follow you.
You need to maintain a healthy posting schedule, as well as diversify your posts. As your brand becomes increasingly popular, more people will interact with you on social media. You may have to keep in touch with all your followers to maintain a relationship and facilitate personal selling.
How should you address a damaged reputation?
The internet never forgets. It is a harrowing statement that should guide brands in their activity online. Before setting up on social media or engaging in any type of activity, you should be wary of the potential risk to your reputation. Many brands have experienced substantial loss as a result of their social media activity, with a significant number ailing to overcome it. If you want to avoid any damage to your brand, you should consider keeping up with the social media best practices listed above.
Your reputation can be damaged as a result o even the most minor infractions online. You could face the social media dog house or unprofessional interactions with your followers, ill themed social media content, inappropriate use of imagery or words, unintentional posts on your brand accounts, or even a mistake by people who are perceived as representing your brand. You need to get ahead of the problem as soon as you feel that it has affected user perception, regardless of how petty it could seem. What steps should you take to contain a damaged reputation?
The first major step is to issue a retraction and an apology or a statement denouncing any misrepresentation, as appropriate to your situation. You need to take down any misplaced content immediately, regardless o the amount of traction it may provide. Remember, on social media, only good press is viable. After minimizing the impact, you should carry out efforts to sanitize your brand, such as showcasing positive brand values through community work. You should also consider online reputation management to help reduce the impact to your brand.
It is far easier to take up preventive measures than it is to address a damaged reputation. If the damage is significant, you may be unable to overcome it. You could be forced to rebrand completely to avoid the negative association to your brand.