The direct impact that social media can have on brand equity translates into a significant boost in Social Equity.
Social media has created an entirely new avenue of measurement when it comes to brand equity. The value of a business is based on, among other things, the quality of work it produces, the position it holds in the market and, perhaps most important, the public perception of the brand. Social media tackles each of these aspects in some way or another, and that level of power means that the benefits to Social Equity can be great.
There are three key areas of focus when one looks at the impact social media has on a brand’s image: reputation and crisis management, customer service, and market influence. Social marketing has quickly become one of the cornerstones of increasing a brand’s value in each of these categories, and the results are increased Social Equity for a business in both the short- and long-term.
Reputation and Crisis Management on Social Media
The power of social media can make or break a company’s reputation. Peer-review sites are among the most trusted in the industry, and a poor reputation here can mean a fast downfall of your brand. Managing your brand on social media can significantly boost your Social Equity.
People look to engage with a brand, particularly in the time of a crisis, and if you are listening and conversing with these users, you not only quell any unease customers might have, but you have the opportunity to turn these people into brand advocates.
By carefully monitoring and managing your brand’s reputation in real-time on social media, you eliminate much of the risk of bad press being out there and not even being aware of it.
Customer Service on Social Media
This is a relatively new concept referred to as Social Care. In a recent study by Nielsen and NM Incite, results showed that one-third of active social media users prefer to engage with brands on social networks in order to deal with questions or complaints as opposed to conventional methods of customer service (e.g. by phone).
The ability to engage with your audience on multiple platforms adds to both your brand’s transparency and approachability. These are both crucial to developing customer loyalty and, in turn, building your Social Equity.
Influence on Social Media
There are plenty of services, like Klout, Kred or PeerIndex, that aim to measure a brand’s influence on social media. Influence is of ever growing importance, particularly when it comes to brand equity. Building your industry influence and establishing your brand as the foremost expert in your vertical has never been easier than it is with the strategic use of social media.
Using multiple networks and implementing a methodical engagement program can quickly help you boost your credibility to a much wider audience than ever before. Furthermore, it can be done much faster than ever before. The results? Increased brand trust and subsequent business and Social Equity.
Brand and reputation management are of ever growing importance. The ability for an international set of consumers to share opinions, complaints and praise of brands with one another has never been easier. With the right strategy in place (and a good product never hurts!) it will not be long before you see the impressive results from your efforts in terms of Social Equity.
How do you manage your brand’s reputation online? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter!