How Brand Reputation Relies on Social Media

How Brand Reputation Relies on Social Media

According to a poll from Effie Worldwide and Mashable, 70% of brands plan to increase their social media spending by more than 10% in 2011. So, the big question is no longer whether social media is an important segment of a marketing plan. Instead, the question is how important social media is to a successful marketing plan.

The only way to determine how important social media is to a company is to determine how extensively brand reputation relies on social media. There are three critical ways your brand relies (or should be relying) on social media, customer service, personal connection and engagement, and converting naysayers.

Customer Service

Perhaps the most obvious way in which brand reputation relies on social media is related to customer service. The phone number of a customer service centre with a ridiculous call holding time is not nearly as effective as it once was. A contact form with a note promising a response within twenty-four hours is even worse.

Today, customers want instant responses, and social media allows you the opportunity to provide just that. If your brand is not already using social media as a way to improve customer support, now is the time to look into it. More and more customers are turning to social media for answers to questions not covered on your website.

Personal Connection and Engagement

It is common knowledge that a repeat customer, a loyal customer is the very best kind. How are brands turning customers, and potential customers, into repeat customers and ambassadors? They are using social media to make a personal connection.

Of course, social media is all about engagement. Personally reaching out to potential customers by monitoring hashtags, keywords and the like is now common practice. Maintaining current customers through social media conversation is vital. Remember, an engaged customer is a loyal customer!

Converting Naysayers

Social media is, of course, connecting brands with potential and current customers. What may surprise you is that social media is connecting brands with naysayers as well.

Many brands are now carefully monitoring their sentiment for negative feedback. When they spot negative responses, they are using social media to connect with the naysayers. By personally apologizing for the reason behind the negative response and offering a solution, brands are turning naysayers into repeat customers.

The best part is that the brand is reaching out to both potential customers and the naysayers. By demonstrating the level of personal engagement and customer service it values, the brand is connecting with the naysayer directly. At the same time, the brand is connecting with potential customers who may be looking into it.

These are only three of the many reasons 87% of brands are claiming that social media is “important” or “very important” to achieving their primary marketing goal in 2011. So, how important is social media to brand reputation? According to the poll, it is as important as 11.9% of a brand’s overall budget.

How important do you think social media is to brand reputation? How heavily does your brand rely on social media? Is it worth more or less than 11.9% of an annual budget?

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