Every coin has two sides. Considering that social media offers vast opportunities for business, the flipside is that it is not free of risks. But, that doesn’t mean we should not harness the reach of this platform or forgo online presence. I have news that can cheer you up; your brand can command a strong social media presence without being prey to events that can put it in a bad light.
The best way to improve brand image is through social media promotions by iDigic. This gives you the best cost to performance ratio when compared to other methods.
We have devised an 8-point checklist to keep your brand image secure on social media. Let’s take a look.
#1 What Is The Image Of Your Brand Online?
It is essential to keep a constant track of where and how your brand’s name is being discussed online. Not everyone is an expert about your company as you are. So, during social media monitoring make sure that customers use your official channels/accounts to reach out to you rather than other bogus accounts.
Do not ignore the positive feedback you receive and pay attention to what others look up to when it comes to your brand. This will help you cater to your loyal customers smoothly and efficiently.
How well you respond matters the most when your brand name faces a setback online. Consider these hurdles as opportunities to let the world know that – This is a brand which listens to its clients and takes appropriate action. This way, you utilize the contrary viewpoints as an opportunity to repair what is potentially damaged.
#2 What Is Your Social Media Policy?
Setting up a social media policy will help you institute a set of protocols for posting on social media channels. This way you help the brand abstain from harmful behavior and will also assist in making sure that your employees are accountable.
One of the pioneers in adopting a complete social media policy is the soft drink giant, Coca-Cola. They have even gone to the extent of making their social media policy public. It depends on you and your company whether your social media policy is public or private, but Coca-Cola is a terrific example to look up to here.
#3 Are Your Employees Trained On Brand Social Media Policy?
There is no use in having a social media policy if nobody is aware of it or consider it of any value. It should be something that every employee related to the process is completely aware of. Providing training on social media awareness to your employees is essential. It should cover the security hazards involved and also how to strategize and alleviate risk.
#4 What Does Your Online Customer Service Imply?
[http://i.imgur.com/XE1Kjkb.png] (Use social networks as a medium to bridge the gap between you and your customer)
Customer service should be given prime importance during social media monitoring. It should replicate the values that your brand upholds to the customers. Concerns, requests, questions or suggestions, irrespective of what it is, a response from the client should be paid ample attention.
Choose social media monitoring and analytics tools like Mention, Hootsuite or Buffer to aid you in making the process organized. Alerts on these tools will help you respond quickly, while analytics will help target your niche more precisely.
#5 Who Are Your Competitors?
If you want to know how your company is faring within the industry, then the best thing to do is to take a look at your competitors. You can use social media to learn more from your competitors. It is indeed wise to keep tabs on industry watchdogs and fellow competitors.
You can create a private Twitter list and monitor their posts. This way, you make sure that you do not repeat the same mistakes as they do and might be able to find something good that can be incorporated into your strategies.
#6 How Do You Devise Hashtags?
[http://i.imgur.com/afhoum6.jpg] (Hashtags are instrumental in reaching out to your niche audience)
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the three most popular social media networks. But, what is common among these platforms? The usage of hashtags. As per the IDigic infographic Social Media 101 – How To Turn Your Small Business Into A Huge Enterprise, tweets that include hashtags receive 2 times more engagement than those without.
If your strategy is not bang on, hashtags can have serious repercussions on your brand image. ‘Hashtag hijacking’ has seriously damaged the online presence of many brands. It happens when a hashtag you have created is used by other users, completely divergent from what it was meant to achieve.
McDonalds was one of the casualties of hashtag hijacking in the recent times. #McDStories was the hashtag used by McDonalds as a part of their PR campaign on Twitter. The campaign backfired as people started using the hashtag to opine about the bad experiences they have had and also about the nature of the food served at McDonalds.
The best way to make sure that this does not happen to you is to avoid using vague hashtags. Use hashtags that focuses on the needs and is of advantage for the customer. Always use hashtags suitable for the respective social networks.
#7 Who Speaks On Your Behalf?
Whether your company is a start-up or an MNC, you have to keep tabs on influencers who are related to your business. Take a look at what conversations they are having with their followers. What are the topics that they engage the most on? Who are they mentioning or retweeting?
Pay attention to the top rated influencers related to your business and engage with them. Harness this opportunity to interact possibly with their followers as well.
Another key figure regarding your brand’s perception among the customers is the spokesperson. Monitor, how the face and voice of your brand are received among your audience.
#8 How Do You Face A Setback?
It is possible that even a very well planned campaign can face hurdles during its execution. Here, the social media contingency plan is put into action. How you respond to incoming issues will reflect on your brand image. Always devise a list of possible scenarios, so that you are not taken by surprise.
Assign roles to your employees and incorporate the messaging procedure, whom to contact etc. in the case of an incident. This will help you be in a better position when an issue arises.
Brand protection should be of utmost importance. Monitoring social media will help you gain critical insights that can influence your social media strategy positively. Make sure that your social presence is in line with the points discussed above to secure your brand image. Remember, prevention is better than cure.