You work hard to gain a business reputation, and we’re all aware of the potential power of the Internet. However, one can sometimes contradict the other and many companies who rush into their social media marketing campaign get burned. So, before you get your Facebook Timeline up and running, consider a few things.

Fail to Prepare; Prepare to Fail

Taking a step back from a social media campaign to think through the details is where you can start on the right foot. Consider what you want from social media marketing, who you are trying to reach and what the best sites to reach them on are. You can use our social media generator app to help you with that. Many companies get carried away with marketing, so consider how much money and time you want to invest in this. Finally, consider how well you’re prepared if your company suffers negative conversation online – after all social media sites are very public forums.

listen-1 How to protect and improve your social media reputation

Listen 

After your research, put your ear to the ground and listen for what others are saying about you. This will find areas in where you can encourage the positive and address the negative and prevent you from doing something silly, such as sending the biggest food blogger in your area, who is allergic to nuts some of your new nuts take away packs – be aware!

Monitoring also allows you to come across any issues you may not otherwise know about, you can sort out negative comments and use tools such as HootSuite for Twitter, Facebook and Google Alerts for Blogs.

Get in There

One of the most important things is to get in there, but don’t grab the bull by the horns, you have to plan ahead when joining social media conversation.

Plan what you wish to share ahead of the time you wish to share it. This prevents overlapping and allows you to release information in a timely organised manner and not just sporadically. When you do start your social media marketing, ensure you are committed. If you post something monitor, engage and harvest through the comments, if not you’ll look like a self serving twit – a negative.

Be transparent and no matter where you respond make sure people know you are doing so representing your business, online communities hate secretive actions and thrive on transparency – do so to be respected.

Monitor viral-heat-social-media-monitoring How to protect and improve your social media reputation

Using basic analytics such as Google, right up to the likes of more complex and comprehensive options such as Radian 6 and ViralHeat. ViralHeat offers unrivalled analytics of your social media for every corner of social media stratosphere. It offers unlimited data and even shows the sentiment of comments about your business. You can set up daily email alerts based on your filters and monitor everything that is being said about your business. It is also a very useful tool to identify potential customers.

Address the Negative

Of course the best way to show your companies back bone is to deal with adversity and turn it to a positive. From time, to time there will be negative comments and they offer risks. However responding to them as quickly as possible and if you’re wrong admit a mistake and apologise, then make things right. Deleting negative comments is a no-no and makes your business look like it is hiding something – this creates suspicion and destroys community spirit – never do it. Think out a response that will show you up in the best light and resolve the issues at hand.

What do you think, how do you plan for a successful social media campaign? We would love, as ever, to hear from you via the comments.