The public’s opinion of your company will have a tremendous impact on its success. Your brand’s reputation is crucial to gaining and keeping customers. It is what may propel your development, raise your brand’s profile, and increase your profits. Of course, the inverse is also true.
A company can be destroyed by damage to its reputation and brand. A social media public relations issue, no matter how little, can have far-reaching effects. A PR crisis can be dealt with after the fact, but it’s much better to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Let’s examine how to keep your brand’s reputation pristine in the face of potential social media PR disasters.
Get a handle on what you hope your appearance will accomplish.
To get your internet business off the ground, it’s important to establish yourself as an authority in your field using various social networking platforms. After all, in this day and age, it’s hard to believe that your company exists if it isn’t present on social media.
But what exactly do you want to accomplish with your brand new social media profiles? With a robust social media profile, you can do what?
It is imperative that you provide as much specific information as possible when responding to these inquiries. To illustrate, saying something like “I want to draw an audience” is insufficient.
Please explain how you plan to entice viewers. Will social media be your go-to for communicating with and helping customers? Will you be blogging often and posting videos of behind-the-scenes action? In what ways will you interact with your target demographics? Where do you want to take the tone of your company?
The more specific you can be about what you hope to accomplish and how you intend to go about it, the more power you will have over the material you share, the comments you react with, and the overall impression you give of your business.
Avoiding public relations disasters that might bankrupt your company will be much easier with this tool at your disposal.
Set ground rules early on for the community
It is crucial for every organisation to set ground rules and principles for the community right away. It’s the foundation upon which your physical and online interactions with your audiences will be built. Yes!
Imagine if your social media followers and consumers have no notion what is and is not acceptable on your pages. No one would blame them for going over the edge in such a situation, engaging in “toxic conduct” such as insulting other members of your community or posting nasty remarks or complaints.
When determining whether or not to remove a member’s remark or post, you may always refer back to the community standards, even if no one ever reads them. Specify in great detail what is and is not permitted on your site. Clearly define the categories of inappropriate comments that will be removed, as well as the penalties that will be imposed on those who violate these terms.
Having well-defined community standards will aid in the propagation of your brand’s message by allowing you to better gauge how to respond to various types of followers.
Fighting off an army of robots
The use of social media bots may be quite helpful for entrepreneurs. Some bots, like web crawlers and spiders, can assist you collect data useful for creating a long-term company plan.
Other bots can help you manage your email more effectively; chatbots, for example, can respond to your followers in real time, answer frequently asked questions, and deliver helpful information without any human intervention.
Many social media bots, however, can also lead to serious public relations issues.
Over 24.1% of all traffic on the internet is thought to be generated by these “evil bots.” They are made for a wide range of malicious activities, including but not limited to distributing false information, spamming, eliciting hostile responses, creating chaos in your community, and more.
Knowing how to recognise these bots is the first step in dealing with them. Sometimes you can know by looking for certain things, like:
- Generalized Profile Picture (landscape, animals, celebrity, etc.)
- Absence of required fields in profile
- A brand-new profile that follows thousands of users but doesn’t have many of their own
- Extreme levels of account activity (bots can post at any time of day or night).
- A flood of irrelevant hashtags in your postings
- Consistently scheduled (at the same time) automated posting.
- Disputed material
- You should do some digging before concluding that someone is a bot because some legitimate accounts will exhibit the same behaviour.
You should always keep a check on your social media traffic, read the comments and brand mentions, and report any questionable behaviour to avoid bot PR issues.
Make sure your staff responds on time.
Most of your social media followers probably want you to respond to them quickly. Twenty percent in the United States want a reply in less than an hour, and another twenty-four percent want to hear back from you within an hour.
Ignoring complaints, criticisms, or poor reviews is a terrible idea. It’s a PR no-no since it shows that you don’t care about your followers’ opinions about your brand.
Therefore, have your staff provide timely responses to all feedback (preferably within just a few hours). Professionally and respectfully respond to both favourable and negative feedback on social media by explaining what happened, why it happened, and what you’re doing to fix it. With the right response, even criticism may boost your reputation.
Correcting and responding to any social media blunders as soon as they occur is also crucial. Take swift action to correct any mistakes made by your staff online or in conversation.
Don’t just delete the tweet (someone will have screenshotted it in the split second after you send it). Take responsibility for the situation, own your error, and explain what led to the misstep honestly.
Creating a strategy
After assessing potential outcomes, the next stage is to organize a team to respond to crises and a strategy for handling them should a public relations nightmare occur. Appoint a brand mention monitor, a public relations manager with a reaction strategy, and a communications manager to keep everything running smoothly. When dealing with a crisis, it’s important to assign everyone a simple job to do. Occasionally, you may even organize crisis exercises to test your teams’ preparedness for a real public relations disaster.