Many companies analyze social media -- Twitter, blogs, Facebook -- for marketing purposes. However, according to corporate reputation strategist Ruth Kinzey, it is equally important for companies to recognize the impact that social media has on its reputation. In a Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area article, Kinzey recommends that organizations keep four principles in mind as they incorporate social media into their "reputational strategy": 1. Listen before considering the use of social media. 2. Remember immediacy. 3. Remember employees. 4. Measure.
Managing Your Online Reputation familiar with it? While it may seem obvious what M any companies analyze social media— Twitter, blogs, Facebook—for marketing purposes (e.g., to identify group preferences or is proper and improper use of company property and time, she reminds, “you only need to watch personalize website content). However, according the Domino’s Pizza employees’ YouTube video to to corporate reputation strategist Ruth Kinzey, it know otherwise.” is equally important for companies to recognize Kinzey says companies should also consider the impact that social media has on its reputation. using these new media to communicate with In a Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area arti- employees and their families—for example, to cle, Kinzey recommends that organizations keep convey information such as benefits or publicly four principles in mind as they incorporate social released financial data. To fully leverage these News stories media into their “reputational strategy”: tools, Kinzey says, a firm must dedicate sufficient often affect 1) Listen—before you consider using social resources to educate employees about the new media. Some firms hire a social media director to medium, develop quality communication and people’s per- listen to social media outlets and learn what top- provide timely responses. ception of a ics interest customers. “Even if a company doesn’t 4) Measure. Many tools and services are avail- plan to engage actively in the social media world, able to track a company’s “buzz”—anything from company. A listening to what is being tweeted, blogged or news announcement coverage to special interest otherwise communicated can be invaluable,” concerns. Kinzey describes one such tool, Social bad perception Kinzey says. For example, by monitoring social Media Network, a PR Newswire product. It moni- is reflected in media, a company can proactively address cus- tors blogs, forum posts, online news sources and tomer concerns. social networks to gather valuable information the bottom 2) Remember immediacy. “News travels about what people are saying, how a brand is per- instantly, including the thoughts of disgruntled ceived or what type of crisis is emerging. Kinzey line, as people customers.” Kinzey recounts the 2008 ordeal of notes that it is important to check the validity of avoid the Dave Carroll, whose high-end guitar was dam- results and interpret the statistics to refine your aged by United Airlines baggage handlers. After strategy—“otherwise, you can end up with a col- company’s 9 months of getting nowhere with the firm’s cus- lection of data rather than useful information.” products or tomer service department, Carroll vowed to pro- Social media is growing in popularity and is duce several songs about his experience. His first becoming more and more commonplace. It is services. video, “United Breaks Guitar
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