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Small Business Insight

Image Control

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In the world of business today, image is king. Social media is being used every day to shape the image businesses of all stripes present to the world. For better or worse, social media is here to stay. Learning how to use it wisely must be a key strategy for any business interested in image control for modern audiences. In fact, mastering the skillful use of social media for image control can make a world of difference for your business – now and in the future. These are a few things you might want to keep in mind when it comes to managing your image and reputation through social media.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
When it comes to image control, images speak volumes. It is sometimes easy to forget that in a world of Tweets and soundbites, but Enonsultancy.com tells of an instance in 2014 when a storm hit Hawaii knocking out power. Hawaiian Electric took to social media with an image of their crews working to restore power while offering valuable information about when power should be restored.

This brilliant of an image along with social media offered assurance that they were working on the problem and reassurance that people would have their power back soon. It is a brilliant and effective strategy that can be incorporated into many different businesses while creating satisfied and loyal customers.

Use Multiple Social Media Platforms to Appeal to a Wider Audience
Many businesses today have made the mistakes of focusing solely on Facebook or Twitter for their social media efforts. That does your entire organization a disservice because different audiences tend to have different favorites for their social media browsing and primary activities. Take advantage of the many different platforms available to you to build a bigger brand all around. Among the platforms you might consider bringing a bigger presence to are:

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  • Facebook – an outstanding tool for engaging with your customers directly and for offering insider glimpses into your business.
  • Google+ - An important tool because Google tends to give better visibility to its own products resulting in higher search engine ratings for your information that is shared through Google+.
  • Instagram – pictures are worth a thousand words. Instagram is a highly useful tool for “outside the box” reputation management activities – remember Hawaiian Electric mentioned above.
  • LinkedIn – outstanding for recruiting and building your image as an industry leader.
  • Pinterest – primarily used for advertising and showcasing at the moment, but offers opportunities to share about community service and innovative ways to use the products your business offers.
  • Slideshare.net Business2Community highly recommends Slideshare to businesses interested in establishing themselves as thought leaders in a given industry.
  • SnapChat – more businesses are beginning to embrace the potential SnapChat represents for fun engagement with younger audiences.
  • Twitter – offers an opportunity to deliver speedy responses to customer queries, complaints, compliments, and more.
  • Yelp – Outstanding tool for building your business presence online for mobile users.
  • YouTube – perfect for promotional videos, informative videos, how-to videos, and profiling various employees within your organization.

The more social media platforms your business uses to engage your target audience, the better the results for your business will be.

Be Proactive Rather than Reactiveimage_control_quote.png
One mistake many people make when it comes to social media for image control or reputation management is that they don’t think to use until there is some sort of crisis. Social media can be an ideal tool for promoting your business image when things are going good and not just to help salvage it when things have gone wrong.

Share success stories about the people who make your organization great. Offer advice on how to use the products or services you offer. Share images of your employees engaging in community service projects. And offer profiles of the personal lives and accomplishments of your executives. Add the human factor to your organization rather than focusing solely on using social media as a tool for selling. It helps your social media audience feel as though they have a deeper relationship with your organization and builds its own brand of customer loyalty that will help you whether certain types of social media problems when they arise.

Respond Swiftly when a Social Media Crisis Occurs
Social Media Examiner recommends having a crisis response plan in place for your business so that you can respond quickly to defend your reputation online when a crisis occurs. For many consumers, the crisis isn’t as important as how your company responds to it. While the crisis does matter, people want to know that you’re listening and ready to respond, for the most part.

If you don’t have a plan in place or you take too long, people may begin to think you have something to hide and a small brushfire could turn into a raging social media firestorm before it is all said and done. That is why having a plan in place is critical.

Using social media effectively as a tool for image control from the beginning can make all the difference in the world when it comes to weathering various storms that will come along for your business. Clover Apps can help you manage your social media activities more effectively for better image control and reputation management.

 

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