One of the key things involved in building an online reputation, as any good online reputation management company will tell you, is your social media strategy. Social media is all around us now and ignoring it is a bad business decision. This has been demonstrated by a recent piece of research.
Research by Affilinet
A recent Affilinet study looked at 2,000 people, all over the age of 18. It showed that:
- 33% are influenced by social media every month.
- 16% are influenced by social media every week.
- 10% are influenced by social media every day.
- 36% find the main influencers to be Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.
What this shows is that businesses have to incorporate a social media strategy if they want their marketing efforts to be successful.
What Influences Social Media Engagement?
The study also looked at the different factors that people found of importance in terms of being influenced by social media. What this showed was that:
- 36% believed “experts on the subject”‘s opinions on social media.
- 29% trust “experts’ opinions”.
- 17% need social media to “relate to their circumstances”.
- 11% are influenced by celebrities.
- 9% are influenced by the number of followers.
There has been a significant rise, therefore, in “social media influencers”. One upon a time, those were the bloggers. Today, however, we look at Pinterest boards, Instagram accounts, tweets, and Facebook posts. We find inspiration from DIY designs on these boards, look for expert fitness techniques, and more. The world is addicted to social media sharing.
Marketers have to focus on social media influencers, therefore. This is reflected in the increase in promotional and sponsored posts, which not everybody is happy about. However, overall, if the ads are relevant, then people tend to receive them quite well.
Regulating Social Media Engagement
A number of new rules have been developed, many of which are listed by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network. For the first time, they have added a “digital influencers” section and they have identified three key principles they must follow. Those are:
- To prominently and clearly disclose whether any content has been paid for.
- To be transparent about existing commercial relationships that are linked to the content.
- Provide genuine and honest views on services, goods, businesses, and markets.
Other instructions also exist, one of which is that fake reviews are an absolute no-no, even if they were written by family and friends. Indeed, it is now recommended that reviews are transparent in terms of where they were posted and who posted them. This is necessary, as there are more fake reviews online than what President Donald Trump suggests there is fake news! Various new rules are being created, such as adding #spon or #ad to any advertisement. Some companies have already decided to break those rules, and this has not worked in their favor.
Online reputation management is about honesty and transparency. This also means embracing change and welcoming the negative. This is a revolutionary concept, but one that truly works.