Spice up your online reputation

Spicy Girl

Social media reputations are tricky, and that’s a gross understatement. Part of what makes them so hard to handle is that an audience behind a computer screen is much more judgmental and harder to please than someone standing right in front of you.

Online critiques are harsher, and come more frequently, but the fact is, they still matter a great deal. So how do you maintain a positive reputation? It requires a fun, balanced, ever-engaging persona, consistently reflected from all your social media outlets. The goal is to keep your audience listening, talking, and happy. Here’s how to do it.

 

Don’t be “that” brand

You know “that” brand: The brand whose name elicits a laugh from people who don’t bother to read its content because it’s sure to be a bore or a cheesy gimmick. It’s important to be vocal on social media, but it’s even more important to consistently engage your audience. Harassing your audience with promotions, or drowning them with text, will surely lead to a swift click away from your site.

To engage your audience, you have to provide them with a way to share their opinions, because no relationship succeeds by letting one person do all the talking. You can post videos, infographics, surveys, or anything else that will make the person looking at your site genuinely interested. Ask questions, and allow people to give feedback on your posts; if it’s good content, your users will want to interact with you and other visitors. The more they share, the more you’re able to tap into their networks to gain more brand awareness.

 

Don’t be part of the “un” crowd

You know what I’m talking about; you may even have been a victim. We can now be un-followed or un-friended, and we’re on the verge of giving people a choice to “dislike” others. There’s a fine line between tweeting too much and not tweeting enough, and it’s a balance a brand must achieve in order to be successful in the social media world.

For example, if your brand pops up in my Facebook news feed every day with monotonous material…well, it was fun while it lasted, but you’re just not worth it. I have definitely un-followed brands, or even celebrities, because they’ve swamped my Twitter feed with too much worthless advertising or boring content. It’s important for brands to tweet often to increase brand awareness, but make sure you’re intentional with your updates.

Ask yourself: Is this information my audience has heard before? Have I already tweeted something similar? If you have a message you want to relay, think of creative and engaging ways to share it.

 

Reach every user without being repetitive

If a company has a message to share, it’s important that they tap into every social media channel. Some of your users will only use Twitter, or only use Facebook, but not both. Covering all the bases will ensure you’ve reached each user.

What about the majority of your audience who uses both? You can post the same message to each platform, but make sure you grab the reader’s attention with different headlines. There are numerous ways to reach every follower, but you have to be creative to do it. Perfecting that craft is what keeps people interested, even if they’ve already read the message on a different outlet.

Think of it like watching a movie for a second time. You’ve seen it and you know the ending, but it looks inviting enough to watch again, and you think you might pick up something you didn’t notice before.

 

It’s a post, not an advertisement: Your audience will know the difference

No one likes to read something that sounds too “salesy” or “gimmicky,” so it’s important for a company to establish a relationship with its fans before trying to convert them into customers. Engaging your fans establishes a foundation of trust, and direct content that your readers can interact with is the way to their hearts.

Opening discussions on hot topics will get them talking. Asking questions like “What’s your favorite _____?” will create a relationship with your customers and shed light on what they’re willing to buy.

 

It can be tedious work to manage your online reputation, but the benefits are invaluable. (And think about it: If you’re not willing to invest in your customers, why should they invest in your products or services?) The question you have to ask yourself is: what happens if you don’t manage your brand? If you don’t keep an eye on it, you can bet your followers will.

The way they speak is by leaving you for the next company that’s willing to engage with them. Be diligent in maintaining your brand reputation. Keep it fun, balanced, and always stay in tune. Your audience deserves your hard work; in the end, they’re the only ones who can make it worthwhile.

This post comes to you from the talented team behind BlueyeCreative, a Chicago-Based Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer. Blueye’s AlwaysBeSocialPlatform helps brands create, manage, and monetize lifestyle applications for Facebook/mobile/web.

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“Spicy” image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Written by Shannon Smith

Shannon Smith is Founder and Partner at Blueye Creative, a Chicago-Based Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, where she leads sales and business development. Shannon, her partner Abby and team have created Blueye's Always Be Social Platform, which helps brands create, manage, and monetize lifestyle applications for Facebook/mobile/web.
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1 Comment »

 
#1
Tenuous Links
August 7th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Some very good points made, especially that the hard sell online is just annoying.

 

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