TalkingIs your company on social media? If not, it’s time to join the conversation. Your customers and your employees are talking about you on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn ─ and it’s important to know what they’re saying.

Now more than ever the use of social media is essential in strengthening your brand. According to a survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review, an overwhelming 79 percent of companies are either using or planning to use social media in the near future.

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Brand with Social Media

It’s inevitable ─ people are going to talk about you on social media. However, you have the power to take control of the conversation by creating your own social media. Use social media in the following five ways to take control of your online presence:

  • Make Connections: Social media is an excellent way to connect with both customers and people who might be interested in working with you in the future. Use these platforms to reach out and introduce yourself.
  • Tell Your Story: Use your social media sites to provide a snapshot of what it’s like to work at your company. Post pictures of the office and fun employee events to showcase your corporate culture. Post updates conveying your brand message and what you believe in.
  • Become a Thought Leader: Give people something to talk about by become a thought leader in an area relevant to your industry. Put your brand in the spotlight by offering advice on best practices, new innovations, and other helpful tips.
  • Manage Your Reputation: No one likes to hear negative comments about their company, but unfortunately they’re a part of life. Social media has made it easier than ever for these less-than-flattering comments to go viral, so it’s important to have a presence on these platforms so you can defend yourself.
  • Make Employees Brand Advocates: While many companies forbid employees from tweeting about them, others promote this practice. For example, MasterCard empowers all of its employees to be brand advocates, encouraging them to post positive messages about working at the company on their personal social networking pages. There’s no better way to gauge employee satisfaction than hearing it straight from workers themselves.

Whether you like it or not, social media is here to stay. It’s important for your company to maintain an active presence on social media platforms to lead the conversation in a positive direction.

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