Using Social Media to Protect Your Reputation

Rich Gorman is one of the most successful direct response marketers online. He enjoys this title because he worked hard, didn’t give up and because he understood the importance of building a stellar reputation around himself and his brand. If you want to reach the top of your field, you’ll do the same.

Online reputation management is important to any person who wants to succeed professionally. No part of your online reputation is more fragile than the reputation perpetuated by your social media accounts. So how do you make sure that your social media profiles give people the best impression possible of you and your brand?

1. Learn the difference between Legitimate Feedback and Trolls

Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between the two, especially given how mean the Internet has gotten lately. The trick is to look at what the person is actually saying. Is the person talking about a specific problem? Sure you might want to click “ignore” based on the language but is there legitimate feedback buried under an accusation or snarky comment?

2. Don’t Respond to the Trolls.

Ever.

3. Say Thank You!

If the feedback is legitimate, use your social media accounts to thank the person for letting you know about the problem. The best way to do this initially is to reply to whatever comment the person has left. For instance, if the post is on Facebook, leave a comment on that specific post. In addition to saying “thank you,” tell the person you will look into the problem and figure out how to fix it.

4. Ask Others for Help

Use your Twitter, Facebook and Google + to find out if other people have been having the same problems. You can do this in a couple of ways. You can run searches through the systems for your business’s name, the product and your chosen keywords. You can all just ask. Create posts and tweets in which you mention the problem and ask if anybody else has had to deal with it. This helps you figure out if it is a widespread issue or a product-specific (possibly user specific) issue.

5. The 24 Hour Rule

If the problem is a big one, don’t let more than a day go by without updating your audience about your progress in fixing it. Even if you’ve made very little progress, a simple “thanks so much for your patience, this problem has us stymied but we’re working on it” builds a lot more good will than simply staying silent until you’ve fixed it. If you need proof of this, just look at the massive security failure Sony experienced a couple of years ago with its PlayStation property. Users would go weeks without hearing anything from the company and many users bailed altogether and switched their loyalty to Microsoft and Xbox.

6. The Big Fix Announcement

When you do finally fix the issue, especially if it is a widespread issue, make sure you let everybody know what you’ve done. Create a blog post in which you thank the people who pointed out the problem to you, the team that worked to fix the problem and your audience for being patient. Explain the problem and how to fix it (or how you will fix it for them). Ask for feedback on the “fix.” Publish links to the post on all of your social media profiles.

Lather Rinse Repeat

Do this with every problem that comes up. Once you have a reputation for taking your audience seriously and working hard to give it what it wants it will be harder for the trolls to defame you.

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