Improving Your Client’s Corporate Image Though Social Media
In 2014, social media represents one of the most powerful marketing tools at the disposal of businesses large and small. If your client owns a business with any kind of customer interface, it is imperative that he or she establishes a solid social media presence. Here are three ways that successful businesses use social media to enhance their corporate image.
Establish a strategy
Nearly two-thirds of all organizations rely on social media analytics, according to a recent report from marketing research firm Demand Metric. If your client’s business doesn’t have a social media presence, it likely places the business at a distinct competitive disadvantage. It’s important to take the first step and establish some kind of organizational social media strategy, which can pay dividends in the long run if it supports and amplifies your client’s core brand messages. Many businesses focus exclusively on social media consulting for businesses, which stands as a testament to the serious marketing potential of Facebook, Twitter, and more. For smaller businesses, however, one or two tech-savvy individuals can often coordinate an entire social media marketing campaign. There are also excellent SaaS tools that can make this task much easier.
One of the most useful functions of social media is its potential for direct customer interaction. While small businesses may have frequent interactions with a small group of customers, large companies often struggle to engage individual customers and make them feel valued. Whenever possible, your client’s business should encourage customers to provide honest feedback on products and services. Taking it a step further, responding to feedback in a public forum makes customers feel that the business cares about their input.
Address negative criticism directly
In decades past, it may have been common for businesses to sweep individual complaints under the rug. In today’s business landscape, however, a single complaint on social media has the potential to snowball into a serious PR disaster. The most successful companies today meet online criticism head-on and respond to it in a highly public manner. Not only can a responsive social media policy defuse potentially explosive situations, but it will also develop a company’s reputation for listening to its customers. This has to be done in a careful way. It’s important for your client to pick his or her battles and avoid being dragged down into the muck. When responding to criticism, discourse with the customer should be professional at all times, which can be especially difficult if a commenter uses inflammatory language to try to elicit a reaction. Avoid being defensive at all costs. Always address even the harshest of criticisms objectively and with a tone that suggests genuine gratitude for the feedback. Occasionally, you may encounter a poster with a history of virulent, wildly unreasonable exchanges and, in that rare instance, it might be best to leave the comment alone.
In the end, addressing feedback openly and constructively leaves a lasting good impression on your customers – current and future.
About the Author
Chris Sundermeier is General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer for Reputation.com. He comes to the company after representing various Silicon Valley Internet and technology companies for more than a decade as a litigation partner at Cooley LLP. There, Chris focused on disputes involving complex commercial contracts and technology agreements, securities, fiduciary duty, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property.
Mr. Sundermeier graduated magna cum laude with his law degree from Boston College, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Sundermeier taught philosophy at multiple universities and colleges around New York City while working on a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Fordham University. He also holds an undergraduate degree in English and Philosophy from Creighton University.
Full disclosure, Legal Ink Magazine is an affiliate partner with Reputation.com.