In today’s fast-paced world plagued by cancel culture and performative activism it only takes a few seconds to ruin a brand’s reputation. Even the great Warren Buffet once said that it only takes 5 minutes to ruin a reputation you’ve been building for 20 years.
Your brand reputation or company reputation is one of your most valuable products but it’s also the most difficult to build and maintain. A good reputation means loyal customers and people who hear about your products from their friends and family (persons they trust). This means that you don’t have to push too hard for customers to show up and buy because they trust your level of quality.
However, as the brand grows and gathers more attention, the reputation becomes more difficult to maintain. After all, mistakes happen (we are all humans) and things can’t always go well. So how do you make sure that your brand continues to stay strong even when you or your staff slip up?
Keep Your Eyes & Ears Open
A broken reputation usually starts with a small rumor that grows and jumps around social media until it either becomes news or you catch it in time to do something about it. Still, you shouldn’t base the state of your reputation on luck.
Nowadays you can monitor mentions of your brand on social media so you know what people are saying about your company or products. This way, if any bad rumor shows up, you can address it before it starts spreading.
Social Media Policy
Who has the right to post on your social media accounts? Who can reply to comments from customers? What is your strategy in case a customer has a negative comment?
All these and more are questions that must be addressed before even creating a social media presence for the brand. Unsupervised content posting and creation is a slippery slope that usually ends badly for the brand. You must have control over the type of content and the message that gets uploaded to your accounts.
Designate the task to a trustworthy staff member who understands marketing and has solid communication skills. If the task is too big, you can create a team that only handles social media marketing and can follow the company policy. A social media management company can also be trusted with this task as they have the experience to deal with this.
Own Your Mistakes
As we already stated, mistakes do happen (intentional or not). And when you make a mistake, your followers will call you up on it. This is a chance to show the team behind the brand is human (we all make mistakes) and that you can take the heat for your error.
The best strategy in this situation is to graciously admit your mistake, issue an apology (publish it on social media or via a press release), and make amends to the people/companies/organizations impacted by your error. Also, make sure the same mistake won’t happen in the future.
Overall, it’s best to avoid making mistakes on social media, but when it happens, own it. Even a PR nightmare can be turned into a positive if handled correctly. Plus, you’ll gain the respect of your followers and the brand will be stronger.
Double & Triple Check Everything
One way to stay out of hot water is to have a thorough proofreading process. Everything that goes on your social media accounts needs to be spell checked by at least two different team members who were not involved in the creation process (fresh eyes).
Also, put together a review board that has the power to decide what goes up and what doesn’t. These people should be experienced in public relations and social media, but it also helps to bring some insight from marketing and sales.
When you have people with different backgrounds working together, the result is quite interesting and has a better chance of standing out of the crowd. Also, make sure everything is spell checked – any mistake will take away from the value of your message.
Social media is an important aspect of any successful brand’s life. That’s why it’s mandatory for any company to devise and implement a social media strategy that focuses on quality content with as few mistakes as possible. And, when errors do happen (no one is error-free) own it and take the public reaction into consideration to make amends and show you care.
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