Social media reputation: dealing with negativity
Building a positive online reputation is part of branding. And having the right strategy to build and protect it is important not only for businesses but also for individuals and non-profit organisations. As the importance of interactions on different platforms grows, so does the reputation on social media. These platforms are excellent channels for increasing visibility. However, in the event of a scandal, negative information about a company spreads at the speed of light.
Huge numbers of users discover a brand, choose products and services, or find out the news through social media. With the right strategy, these platforms are ideal for building a positive image and increasing trust with your target audience. To avoid damaging consumer relationships through scandal, competitor influence or a careless statement by a company representative, you should protect your reputation in advance. There are a number of tools available to do this. For example, if a problem arises, you can use legal mechanisms to issue an official retraction.
How to neutralise negativity
However, there is another approach based on managing negativity and responding promptly. This involves communicating the company’s official position through dialogue with the audience, responding to comments and feedback, and issuing press releases.
In this case, it is also essential to neutralise the negative, for example, by asking the social network’s support team to remove the post. At the same time, it is necessary to fill the information space with positive company mentions. Positive feedback and comments from interactions with the target audience are such tools.If a negative mention of the brand cannot be removed, it should be blocked with more positive information to divert attention from the problem.
The company’s representatives need to be able to react appropriately in a negative situation and to be able to act in a crisis. It is necessary to establish the right communication with social network users and the media as quickly as possible. Companies need to present a united front and only send out messages that mitigate reputational damage. This will help minimise the impact of the scandal on the company.
If there is an element of manipulation with false information, it is better to use legal and judicial tools. Protecting confidential information is one of the main objectives of social networks. Therefore, it is necessary to contact the helpdesk to remove the false statement. In this case, however, it is better to be gentle without resorting to threats. Otherwise, the situation may escalate into an aggressive confrontation, which will affect users’ perception of the brand.
To avoid such a situation coming as a surprise, we recommend developing a strategy and response algorithm in advance when the company’s reputation is threatened on social media.