“One angry tweet can torpedo a brand”
Analysing social media and corporate reputation
Yet, all cognize, “[S]ocial media is no longer the adorable baby everyone wants to hold, but the angst-filled adolescent—still immature yet no longer cute—who inspires mixed feelings.”
Social media have transformed the business and communication landscape and organizations appear to, reluctantly or willingly, recognize this change. Evolving patterns of communication, collaboration, consumption, and innovation have created new domains of interactivity for companies and stakeholders.
In this changed scenario, there are opportunities for experimentation and correction, yet challenges abound. As on date, there are no definitive methodologies nor there is a ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula that can be applied to all situations for optimum results.
What is definite, though, is that social media communication is the new mantra for influence and can have a huge impact on corporate reputation (CR), “the single most valued formal asset” that “may enable firms to charge premium prices, attract better applicants, enhance their access to capital markets and attract investors.”
Data from the United Kingdom and the United States over the last four years show a growing trend and shift in consumer preference for the use of digital media.
No longer are consumers and customers dependent on traditional and company-controlled channels of mass communication.
With 75 per cent of India’s online population as digital consumers, small wonder that digital is the new mantra. Even as traditional media remain valid, being relevant demands a strategic shift towards social-mediated dialogue, engagement, and conversation.
This traction towards an “architecture of participation” has just begun with a promising ecosystem.
Online reputation is your reputation
The radical growth of social media usage has a decisive impact on the business environment, both at the micro and macro levels. It is no longer a question of whether companies should indulge in social media or not. The question whether companies should enter this space has lost significance, for joining, collaborating, and communicating with online consumers have become an imperative.
Different companies are adopting customized techniques to gain a foothold in this elusive space, as they recognize that “When used effectively the internet is the best tool for improving reputation that has yet been created.”