While social media can have customers beating a path to your doors, it could also malign and destroy your brand image almost overnight.
Maybe it’s because of the time we live in.
We do take online reputation very seriously. It’s natural tendency to think of a company as inferior if you find a few negative reviews or complaints about them on the internet.
No one is going to wait to verify and subsequently (if applicable) nullify these negative claims. No one has the time.
They’ll simply move on to the competitors even if they are priced slightly higher.
The bottom line is what is said about your brand on the internet in general and social media in particular will dramatically affect your business.
Tips to rebrand social media presence
The brand image is sometimes the deciding factor for someone who chooses Adidas over Puma. Not only does a positive social media presence open up existing avenues but also create future ones.
Set right what’s gone wrong
If your brand image has taken a hit because of a hyped up complaint or some product defect, the first thing you need to do is set it right.
Genuine apology helps if there’s indeed been a mistake. Customers are not idiots, you cannot make them feel that ‘wrong’ is not wrong if it’s otherwise blatantly obvious.
A good case study is of the Domino’s incident where a staff was caught mishandling (rather gruesomely) food on video. This caused a worldwide uproar and Domino’s released their own video on how they rectified the situation.
Negative review and complaints are not uncommon. You can’t make everyone happy, there would be delays in delivery, there would be goof ups and there would even be mistakes.
These are not what escalate them into problems that mar the brand image. But it’s mainly the reaction to it that does.
If you are not tactfully handling each such review and complaint, you are losing out- not just on existing unhappy customers but also prospects likely to become customers.
Unify your brand image and voice
You might have different employees handling each major social media platform but be mindful of the fact that everything stems from a common goal and voice.
Just like how Nike promotes staying fit and active, you’d often see how aligned this image is across their social media.
An indirect way to do that is to use relevant and the same hashtags throughout
It becomes easier for a small-sized company since it’s often a few people managing and monitoring social media and they’re often aware and attuned to what’s going up as a tweet or an image or status update.
But no matter the size of the company uniformity is important.
Leverage the power of hashtags
Not just to maintain uniformity but also to add relevancy. When you use relevant hashtags you are adding to your brand image on social media by giving your product a related identity.
So for instance when Nike uses #niketraining when they upload a training video or sports-related video it automatically lends that image to Nike.
Samsung again often tweets with #samsungtips when they are tweeting a tip or some informative content.
You also have to constantly expand on these hashtags so you can keep on building your brand image the way you want it to.
And don’t forget to tap into the trending hashtags if it’s applicable and relevant to your brand image.
Keep monitoring evaluating and tweaking your approach
Which social media platform you need to harness more to what your approach would be varies from one brand to the other.
What would work wonders for Samsung mightn’t work for Apple. So as a brand you have to continuously monitor social media and evaluate how your strategy is working for you.
If the ROI is high – in terms of both money and efforts – you can stick to the approach. If not you can always shake thing up or adopt a completely new approach.
Understand that social media is a constantly evolving forum. There was a time when beauty gurus would strictly stick to YouTube for the majority of their work, but now they’re even cashing into Instagram with image updates and smaller video clips.
Vines are the latest trends. Take for instance how Weetabix tapped into this platform for the on the go breakfast range. They uploaded a small video of a routine morning and then invited their followers to decide how the video would proceed.
Draw your customers in
Branding and rebranding are both two-way streets. In fact the strength of your social media presence is governed by how effectively can you engage your followers.
Weetabix nailed that to a t by inviting followers to make an important decision.
Unless there is interaction from both ends, you will not be able to create a powerful and sustainable brand image. Giveaways and contests are some common ways to draw them in.
Also share updates of your followers where they mention your brand. Actively reply to tweets and comments to loop them in.
Use cross-platform linking
So many brand concentrate only on major social media platform. While that is a good idea since you know where your strength lies but you cannot put all your eggs in one basket.
Before you know your prospects might be lured by a new platform that’s sprung up and would shift their majority of time spent on social media to this new platform.
Cross-platform linking helps to both make your existing followers aware of your presence on another platform and nudges them to join/follow too.
So if you are on Facebook and are trying to promote your Instagram page, a 10% coupon code for following your brand on Instagram will work.
Or sometimes you need to drive the traffic to something you exclusively posted on one platform. It’s simple, just pique their interest and build a curiosity on another platform and they’ll automatically flock to wherever you want them to go.
Manage negative complaints
Customers find it easier to vent out on social media. They would viciously attack your brand, you and even your families on social media because it’s easy to do so on the internet.
You need to have round-the-clock employees managing and responding to these complaints. Prompt reply makes it easy but make sure you’re not being stupid with the reply.
Be understanding and resolve the issue no matter how stupid or funny.
We loved how Tesco reiterates this thought and rather hilariously.
If you have had a bad encounter pertaining to which your brand image suffered a blow, relax it’s always salvageable. Just put in effort and undo the damage and you can rebrand your social media presence.