The Advantages of Implementing a Comprehensive Social Media ORM Strategy
We all know what social media is, but there’s a vast difference between companies that use it effectively and those that don’t. One of the main ways companies can use social media to their advantage is by leveraging it as a tool for online reputation management (ORM).
In today’s digital age, ORM is an extremely important aspect of a company’s overarching PR and sales strategies. According to a Podium survey, 93% of consumers report that online reviews impact their buying behavior. Most consumers will not even engage a company with a star rating lower than 3.3 (out of 5).
Social Media: A Powerful Platform for ORM
Social media is an ideal medium for ORM — it’s a space where users are encouraged to voice their opinions and share their thoughts. So if they have a bad experience with a company, you can bet that they are likely to share it. Brands in turn are able to engage directly with their stakeholders and can be there to monitor and address those issues.
At the same time, social media offers diverse platforms for companies to distribute their content, which can ultimately expand their reach and drive more footfall to their websites.
It’s also where companies can share their own unique, value-driven content, sparking positive interest and interactions that can push negative content away behind the curtains.
According to the Harris Poll, conducted on behalf of Sprout Social, positive social media interactions cause nearly 80% of consumers to buy from a brand, increase their spending with the brand, choose the brand over its competition, and recommend it. That’s pretty powerful.
7 Ways to Do Social Media ORM Right
So, how can you create a social media ORM strategy that will achieve all of the desired benefits?
Assess your company’s current brand reputation
Before you embark on any new communications strategy, it’s important to assess your current brand reputation. That will help you to analyze consumer perception of your brand, create realistic milestones and goals, and strategize to achieve them.
Social media goes beyond campaigns and gives your company an opportunity to write its own narrative and build a positive brand image on a daily basis through relevant posts, user engagement, consistent availability, and more.
Monitor social media activity
With so much happening at any given second on social media, there are countless opportunities for positive consumer interactions. Monitoring brand mentions is critical to identifying opportunities that can make your brand look good.
While you should ideally have a marketing professional dedicated to this, they shouldn’t do it alone. There are a ton of monitoring tools that track brand mentions, among other things, and you should absolutely use one or several. These tools turn an impossible job into one that’s doable and achieves results.
Respond to brand mentions, messages, and reviews, both negative and positive
Monitoring is the first step — but what do you do with all these brand mentions then? Respond, of course! Knowing what people are saying isn’t enough. ORM means stepping in and responding to users’ comments, feedback, complaints, and praise.
If you see negative feedback, don’t panic. ORM is the strategy that can help companies flip the crisis on its head, showing consumers that they know how to listen, repair, etc.
Responses on social media are crucial in forging an image of a company that cares about its customers and building trust. In fact, a 2021 study conducted by OOH media platforms Clear Channel and JCDecaux found that 80% of 1,000 surveyed consider trust a deciding factor in their purchasing decisions.
How important is a fast company response on social media? According to HubSpot:
- 79% of customers expect a response within 24 hours
- 39% expect a response within 60 minutes
- The average business response time is about five hours
- 63% of social media complaints are responded to within 24 hours, but only 32% are happy with that
The bottom line is, the faster you respond to your customers on social media, the better your chances for increased satisfaction and continued relationships.
Track competitor brand mentions
Tracking your competitors’ brand mentions can give you an idea of where your brand stands publicly and in which areas it needs to improve. The main advantage of this is that you can learn a lot about what consumers want when you read negative competitor reviews, and you can improve your own practices before your brand gets those bad reviews.
Create your own narrative through controlled assets and content that will rank
Without this proactive component to your ORM strategy, it won’t get very far. Use social media to create your own brand narrative and tell the positive story you want stakeholders to read. This can include posting content that adds value to your users, like successful social media interactions, positive reviews, curated content, and more.
But beware — companies that are short on manpower or time might be tempted to use a bot to upload random content that is semi-related to your brand but doesn’t actually fit your brand narrative or voice. The idea behind these bots is to keep your page active, since active pages rank better than non-active ones. However, it’s important to resist the urge to use a bot — if the content doesn’t compliment your brand, the narrative you are trying to curate can be affected.
ORM isn’t only about pushing the negative down but about building a narrative that’s appropriate to your company values and voice. This is an incredibly valuable opportunity that should not be wasted on a bot.
Don’t be afraid to create an interesting social media “personality”
One of the best aspects of social media is that it’s more informal and creative than traditional marketing avenues and campaigns. Your page is a chance to let your company voice and “personality” shine through.
Social Media ORM: One Piece of the Puzzle
A recent survey showed that 82% discovered a product on social media and then purchased it directly from their phones. Clearly, the power of social media cannot be underestimated. Social media ORM can turn these consumers from one-time buyers to returning customers.
ORM doesn’t promise complete control — after all, no matter how positive, quick, or charming your brand voice, there will always be those who don’t want to hear it. However, if you focus on creating and maintaining a comprehensive social media ORM strategy with both reactive and proactive components, you will find that you will be able to guide and steer your stakeholders in a positive direction, resulting in many benefits for your brand.