Twitter: the reputation management engine

November 12th, 2010 by | 3 Comments

Image by NASARobonaut

Among the socially-driven services online, two are in the forefront: Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook has been adding one feature after another in their seemingly all-out bid to take over the Web by expanding its presence beyond its social networking platform, Twitter remains to be the silent achiever, taking its sweet time to actually show what ideas it is fostering under its wing. Despite this, the microblogging giant remains true to its niche, revealing little about its business strategy and yet evolving significantly in both its user base and in its stability as a Web service.

During its four-year existence, Twitter has proven itself to be quite a player in the social media scene despite its initially slow trajectory. It has evolved from being a mere status updater to a potent social media marketing tool and, most importantly, as an engine for driving brand development and reputation management efforts online. Not bad for a company originally conceptualized as an SMS service by founder Jack Dorsey while on a park munching down on some Mexican food.

In Real-Time Search

Image by Jan Krömer

Thanks to its sudden skyrocket to fame in 2007, Twitter’s stance as a significant force in real-time Web was perhaps validated when search engines started including tweets on their search engine results pages. This makes it easier for online marketers to measure their online presence, how their curated tweets are being perceived by their niche and by the entire online landscape.

Should you or the brand you represent run into some unfortunate, reputation-denting incident online, you can deliver the real facts and the search engines will index both the negative impressions and your tweets explaining your side of the story. Obviously, this also works great for when you are making announcements about your products or services online. The search engines can pick up on your tweet in real-time, making your news updates easily discoverable.

Ah, Twitter Love

Image by mysi anne

As with any brand or personality wading through the social waters, your constant social engagements like retweets and responses to tweeted out queries can help gain your targeted demographic’s attention. This will create buzz around your name and will first help develop brand awareness. And nothing can make people feel welcome and gratified than being noticed and getting responses. As you continue engaging with people online, you can also win their trust, and ultimately, their loyalty. This can convert those mere casual followers into a loyal assemblage of people who will invariably voice out their support and, similarly, show honesty—much like real-world friends who will support you in your endeavors but will also tell you about their dissatisfaction.

The Flock Defends

Image by Roger Chang

It is human nature for a person to find other people who share the same beliefs, interests and fears, and then form groups around these commonalities. People who follow your brand may develop a strong sense of affinity towards your brand, and if you cultivate this with social engagements that are truly rewarding to them, the relationship goes beyond the producer-consumer range and into honest loyalty. In reputation-demeaning moments, it’s this loyalty that will drive your followers to defend you and even become your unsanctioned brand evangelists.

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