Social media is an excellent way to share information about your brand quickly and effectively because it’s fast, easy and has a seemingly endless reach. But the same traits that make social media such a great tool for communicating can also make it problematic.

The immediacy of the platform can cut both ways which is why social media must always be used with care.

On one hand, social media can extend a clear line of communication to followers using tips, guidelines, questions and comments. On the other hand, users can spin lies out unchecked with falsehoods being shared over and over until people believe what they read to be true.

While social media is a great way to handle customer service issues, address rumors or provide updates, it can also be weaponized and used against you. Social media can be used to defend your organization’s reputation, or it can be targeted against your organization. Problems can arise quickly if false or misleading information is shared repeatedly online because the more a lie is shared, the more likely it is to be believed.

Knowing what is being said online about you or your brand is essential to protecting your online reputation. Protect your online reputation by setting alerts with software listening tools like talkwalker so you know when your brand’s name is mentioned and can respond fast to avert any problems.

Here are 3 tips to safeguard your online reputation:

Check your facts: Before you hit “send” make sure everything you are planning to post is accurate. Sharing misinformation can create big problems which can quickly morph into huge problems if the messaging is off. Be certain that what you are sharing makes sense and provides value. 

Be authentic:  Being genuine, trustworthy and honest has strong appeal. Organizations that are believable are more likely to garner and retain a loyal following than those that make claims that appear to be false or seem hard to believe. If you or your brand are criticized online, respond thoughtfully. If the conversation gets dicey, take it offline and try to solve the issue privately. Admit to any mistakes and do your best to correct the situation.

Share with Care. Be intentional when you post something on social media. Always be helpful, direct and provide useful information. Posting carelessly can be disastrous so always reread your posts and make sure you are saying what you want to say in a way that is publicly acceptable. According to a 2012 study by Pew Research Center, 19 percent of teens who use social media have posted updates, comments, photos or videos that they later regretted sharing. The study also noted that one in three teen social media users have deleted or deactivated a social media account. 

Post with Purpose: Make sure your post answers questions or provides some other added value. Post relevant information and state your meaning so nothing can be left to interpretation. Focus on your target audience and tailor your posts to speak directly with those you want to reach.

The power of social media cannot be understated. Thoughtful social media posts can help promote your brand while careless posts can cause long-term damage. Always tread carefully because the immediacy of social media is what makes is so effective in either a positive or negative way. Social media’s effect on online reputation management is huge because your actions take place in real time.

  1. What are some common mistakes users make on social media?  Careless users ignore data, go off topic, post content that does not spark engagement, are impersonal, share outdated content or are not transparent.
  2. Is social media addictive? Social media platforms drive surges of dopamine to the brain to keep consumers coming back repeatedly. The shares, likes and comments on these platforms trigger the brain’s reward center, resulting in a high like the one people feel when gambling or using drugs.
  3. What is online reputation management? ORM is the process of monitoring and managing user-generated social media content such as reviews to influence the way your brand or business is perceived. It involves many aspects that include online reputation management, reputation repair and review response.
  4. How can your reputation be affected by online activities? Your community, friends, family and even your employer can potentially see everything you share or do online. Negative comments, reviews, lewd pictures and trolling can harm you and your organization’s reputation no matter how long ago the actions took place.
  5. What is an online attack?  An online attack is usually of malicious intent, wherein the attacker actively seeks to cause damage to a person, business, or entity by maligning their good name with negative or harmful content that is visible to the public.

Red Banyan’s team of social media and online reputation repair experts have the skills, experience and background to protect your organization’s online reputation and make sure you share with care and post with purpose.