4 Ways to Protect Your Brand Reputation on Social Media
Brand reputation is multidimensional in that both positive and negative perceptions can go a long way to affect how deeply entrenched your brand is in your customers’ eyes, whether out of loyalty or fear.
At both ends of the positive and negative spectrum, brand marketers rely heavily on social media in the current day to understand how their brand is perceived. It's not enough to only monitor social conversations but also to keep an eye on what key opinion leaders are discussing in their industry.
At its core, brand reputation is the determinant that allows a company to reap increasing rewards the more people trust and advocate its brand. A positive brand reputation effectively increases public confidence and customer loyalty in the market, leading to higher bottom-line results and greater market value.
Effective brand reputation management can augment or dislodge a brand’s authority in today's social media landscape. As 93% of customers read online reviews before buying a product, brands must take advantage of social listening tools that help them quickly discover what customers are talking about concerning their brand, products, or services.
Below, we’ll list several top ways to help marketers evaluate their brand reputational risks with social media listening.
1. Analyze Business Environment on Social
You would not be surprised to find conversations around your macro environment, consisting of society, government, rules, politics, technology, and even economics, directly on social media. These things can quickly affect your business operations.
Consumers' opinions, especially in the form of reviews, can be very persuasive from one person to the next. Marketers need to capture brand mentions as they are published, allowing you to quickly respond to trends and hot spots in the online environment. That said, social listening can help marketers monitor what's found on social media and the Internet, giving you a 360-degree view of what's most significant to your business.
Imagine you are in the travel and hospitality industry; how does hearing about a rise in Covid cases in your country impact your business for the foreseeable future? More importantly, are you picking up on travelers’ concerns?
Shared some brief thoughts on the Monkeypox outbreak earlier today.— Yoong (@yoongkhean) June 22, 2022
Regardless of the nature of this outbreak, the frequency of zoonotic diseases is rising & this comes from a global pattern of deforestation, travel & climate change. All things that we can take action on now. https://t.co/PKvZC4vrOc
2. Analyze the Evolution of Public Sentiment Pre-, During-, and Post-Campaign
Marketers across the board can agree that measuring ROI from a brand campaign to inform stakeholders is one of the most important considerations to understand their success and tweak efforts to maximize impact.
Tracking the evolution of social mentions relating to your campaign may be a good indicator of measuring performance. The more earned media observed, the larger the likelihood your brand has an uptick in buzz and visibility. For this reason, marketers need real-time information to make informed decisions on optimizing their campaigns.
In the example above, you can monitor conversations around your brand in the desired period to understand the peaks and troughs, especially before a major unveiling, like Apple’s highly-anticipated Fall conference.
Tracking what conversations are highly expected by consumers will give your marketing and PR teams a heads up on how they can prepare media kits and teasers to warm up to the official campaign reveal.
3. Anticipate Potential Crises
On the other hand, social listening helps ensure your brand maintains positive receptivity and allows you to pre-empt potential contingencies before a backlash ensues.
Identify Main Issues
It’s one thing for your brand to go viral, but another to be around a hotly-contested issue. To be safer than sorry, practice the good habit of regularly monitoring hashtags or popular keywords around your brand to assess your brand health.
In this example, under the top hashtags, at first glance, the Nestlé brand should not have much to worry about regarding what consumers discuss about their company, services, or products. However, where Nestlé could pay more attention is particularly around their competitors mentioned.
By observing the word cloud closely, Aquafina, a manufacturer of filtered water, also appears as a highlighted keyword. On further inspection, we can easily discover that consumers could boycott Nestlé over competitor brands in this instance on the issue of bottled water.
Without social listening, you could easily miss out on negative conversations happening on the sideline, especially when the crisis has not yet ballooned. Even a handful of negative mentions in your data findings can signal your team to investigate and resolve customer concerns.
Detecting Critics Intelligently
As negative news can spread like wildfire, it is critical for marketers to keep an eye on detractors and critics who could cause more harm than good to your brand’s reputation.
In such cases, social listening can help you identify social media profiles effectively, so you may take an analytical view in categorizing the types of detractors among the public. Doing so will allow you to adapt various communication strategies across your channels depending on their demographics, geography, and critical issues.
How Then Do You Convert Detractors to Promoters?
Detractors make a point for a reason. Possibly, at some stage in their customer journey, they faced an unsatisfactory experience with your brand. From the perspective of your brand, re-establishing trust with these profiles represents an opportunity to bring them back into your customer journey.
If done right with their issues acknowledged, their often loud voices in the community can turn them into your brand’s biggest promoters.
Fully-equipped social listening providers like Digimind Social come easily integrated with major CRM platforms like Hubspot and Salesforce. Linking detractors into your CRM tool allows you to follow up, quell consumer frustrations in time, and, more importantly, humanize how your brand interacts with your customers.
As always, it’s the voice of the customer that matters. Only when brands do their due diligence to fix issues does a process of reciprocation and redeemed value occur that ultimately transforms detractors into promoters.
4. Manage the Crisis and Adapt Communication Methods
Remember that time H&M launched its new clothing, casting an African-American child to model its new hoodie with the slogan “Coolest Monkey in The Jungle” printed on it?
H&M has appointed a diversity manager after dealing with the fallout from using a black child to advertise a hoodie with the slogan "coolest monkey in the jungle" https://t.co/QK2tetYYML pic.twitter.com/TxmJ7tnrKD— CNN (@CNN) January 18, 2018
While their PR teams managed an apology soon after, this was a stark reminder of how even the most prominent brands can easily overlook labels and draw the ire of the online mob. Brand marketers often become first responders to public outrage, and it pays to have an automated tool that will quickly alert your team to escalating issues before your brand lands in hot water.
Social listening tools like Digimind Social will equip you with real-time notifications whenever an unwanted situation arises. For example, a trigger to a potential crisis can be as simple as setting an alert to your team if “more than 500 negative publications appear in any given hour.” Setting that threshold allows your team to pay more attention to a discussion thread about their brand whenever a spike in negative sentiment results.
Putting out a statement or an apology should come after making an informed analysis of the context provided through the data. Knowing how to deliver a message is critically important as knowing who is at the receiving end.
Target Relevant Audiences Based on Socio-Demographic Analysis
Once you have outlined the bigger picture of your communication strategy, proceed to look at hard data on your audience profile.
Some considerations to take into account:
- Which geographic location are conversations amassing from
- Who these people posting about your brand are
- Which primary social channels are they using?
Having these at hand will make your brand more precise with the resources allocated to fulfill these communication objectives. Take an example of posting a formal statement; you might have identified a specific demographic of customers from an age group complaining are primarily Facebook users. Hence posting on it could have a more muted but direct impact on quelling the PR storm.
Executing Better with What You Know
While not every brand can offer world-class customer service, it is more influential for brands that customers perceive them in a positive light. With social media, there is so much at stake when delivering the right message that brands sometimes fall short of doing right by customers with the simplest gestures.
Unprecedented crises are not always bad. Sometimes it is more about how brands overcome setbacks. Social listening can help mitigate the loss of the corporate narrative, but using data to support decision making and bridge the gap between what is known and unknown.
Discover unique case studies on brands that used social media listening to optimize their brand reputation and come out winning with clever communication strategies.
L'Oréal Vietnam Finds Success in Social Listening
Written by Jared Silitonga
Jared is a member of the APAC marketing team at Digimind. Besides hashing insights into content, he loves a good ol' sit-down of board gaming and film rhetoric. Catch him diving in other shenanigans on Instagram @jarrds