There is a new player in the reputation management arena and its name is social media. While it is now a well known fact that social media is revolutionizing everything from the way people communicate to marketing strategies for businesses, this new medium is also changing ways in which businesses can manage their online reputations.
Here are the areas in which social media can play a significant role in reputation management for businesses:
* Building a loyal following by providing valuable content, engaging with the community, and developing relationships by being a good “social” citizen – Social media is not only about what a company says about itself, it’s about what the business’ community is saying about the company as well. Building a loyal following that believes in what a company is doing and shares positive commentary with their networks can be a powerful weapon against posts that contain negative content. While a supportive community can’t eliminate negative commentary, their positive comments, shares, likes, etc. can greatly dilute comments that might otherwise hurt a company’s reputation.
* The provision of a variety of ways in which businesses can convey their message to their markets – The typical objective of a reputation management campaign is to control as much of the content that consumers see when they use search terms related to the sponsoring company. What often gets forgotten in this race to occupy high search engine rankings is the opportunity to create content that can double as marketing materials as well. Looked at in this light, deploying content through the variety of multimedia options available on social media platforms can both protect and build and company’s reputation while also serving as effective marketing and brand building materials.
* Playing a significant role in the algorithms used by search engines to determine rankings on their results pages – In their search to find SEO signals that are difficult to manipulate, the search engines have found that social media offers virtually everything they have been looking for in terms of links, content sharing, followers, etc. To that end, the search engines are increasingly prioritizing SEO signals originating from social media sites in the algorithms used to rank web pages in their results.
Reputation managers, due to the inherent advantages, are now essentially obligated to integrate social media sites into their reputation management campaigns. To do otherwise, as the saying goes, “Is like bringing a knife to a gunfight”.