5 Steps for Protecting Your Brand’s Image on Social Media
Online reputation management was once reserved for curating favorable online reviews and generating positive press coverage. Today, brands must also carefully protect their image on social media, too.
Social media is a fantastic channel for brands to generate awareness, promote their products, and build a community. Yet, it is also a platform customers control — one never knows what might be said about their brand online.
Customers use social media to lift brands up and tear them down. Meaning, companies need to have a plan in place to protect their brand image across all social media networks.
We’ll show you the five steps to follow to keep your brand image secure.
1. Develop & Follow a Brand Standards Guide
A brand standards guide is a must when it comes to creating and distributing social media content.
A brand standards guide informs your entire team on:
- What types of content are acceptable for your brand to share.
- The brand’s voice and personality.
- How to tackle specific topics—political, product-related, etc.
- What colors and design assets must always be associated with the brand.
Having this document in place ensures that your whole team represents the brand accurately with each social media post and interaction.
Another critical step is to develop a social media review process. This process will act as a safeguard against social media content that doesn’t represent the brand properly or goes against the brand standards guide.
With such a process in place, you won’t have to worry about your social media team accidentally posting a meme in poor taste or using language that doesn’t connect with your brand’s voice or tone.
2. Follow Through with a Social Media Strategy
The majority of branded social media incidents happen because the company didn’t have a social media strategy in place. Instead, they create and share content on the fly, resulting in poor decisions and a lack of judgment.
With a social media plan in place, every individual on your team knows exactly what must be done to execute the strategy and achieve the brand’s goals.
In addition to a content schedule, your strategy must document who is responsible for answering messages from customers or leads on your social media profiles. Does your customer service team handle these requests or is the social media team capable of tackling these conversations?
Defining responsibilities ensures that customer messages aren’t left hanging while your teams battle it out for the response.
3. Share User-Generated Content
Part of protecting your brand image involves interacting with your social media community. Brands that only post carefully created content and ignore comments, shares, and messages aren’t looked upon favorably by consumers.
Sharing and interacting with user-generated brand content is a form of social proof that accomplishes two objectives:
- Shows your fanbase that you are actively watching and listening to their needs.
- Positions your brand in a positive light.
Use social media listening tools to identify brand mentions on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and build a library of user-generated content for your social media feeds.
4. Encourage Customers to Leave Positive Social Media Reviews
While you’re connecting with your social media audience, this is a perfect opportunity to encourage them to leave positive reviews about your brand on social media sites like Yelp and Facebook.
The key is to earn these reviews organically.
Never run a giveaway or promise a product/service in exchange for a positive review. Not only is this a shady business practice, but it’s also prohibited on several social media sites.
One way to encourage social media reviews is to share positive reviews from other customers! Use a tool like Canva to design an aesthetically appealing template and include the review content. Share this across your social media profiles, sit back, and wait for the reviews to roll in.
5. Always Respond to Customer Complaints
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to worry about your brand image on social media. Customers would always share glowing reviews, positive content, and talk about your products and services all the time.
Unfortunately, this utopia does not exist.
Instead, customers use social media to vent their frustrations about a company or brand experience.
When it comes to protecting your brand image, you must work to resolve the customer complaints you receive on social media. Staying silent isn’t always the best option!
Work with your customer service and social media team to develop a plan for responding to negative customer comments, messages, and posts. This plan should include:
- Step-by-step instructions for various scenarios.
- Information about company policies regarding refunds, returns, etc.
- Who is responsible for writing and sending the response.
Be sure to equip your team with the information and tools they need to remedy customer complaints and transform their experiences into a positive one all without damaging the brand image.
Protect Your Brand Image with a Call Tracking Number
Wait a second… how would a call tracking number help my brand image on social media?
Your social media team can provide unhappy customers with a specific call tracking number to use for complaints. Using the qualitative and quantitative data derived from those phone calls, your teams can collaborate on processes and action items to better improve your brand image on social media.
Give it a shot and get your call tracking number today.