Social media and reputation management: is your glass half full or half empty?

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At first reputation management and social media might not seem a natural fit. However, when you delve a little deeper, you’ll find a very strong correlation. Most interestingly, one thing they certainly have in common is that both are misunderstood, and this realisation has led me to examine the interesting relationship between ‘reputation management’ and social media.

For the purpose of this blog, I will use the metaphor of ‘the glass half full’ to visualise how your mindset towards social media could help shape your company’s reputation.

Is your glass half empty?

Frustratingly, there are still several misconceptions surrounding social media. For example, it is often the case that the youngest person in the company (Millennials or Gen Zs) is deemed the most qualified to run a company’s social media, even though they may not understand the businesses key priorities.

Newsflash! Social media is the most immediate threat to your company’s reputation.

Social media doesn’t suffer fools gladly. If not taken seriously it can and will directly impact your company financially and culturally. Don’t believe it? Think back to 2016 for a moment when ‘half a billion dollars was wiped from Samsung SDI’s market capitalisation’ in response to a single tweet from Elon Musk. Social media is powerful.

Filling the glass

Saying this, you shouldn’t be put off by social media. Yes, you run the risk of damaging your reputation but like any other form of marketing and communications, if managed professionally it can have significant benefits. This is what I am calling a ‘glass half full’ approach to social media and reputation management.

Like any other great glass half full or half empty analogy it’s about a mindset. Are you willing to explore the opportunities social media could hold for your business or are you inhibited by what you have read or experienced? A glass half-full mindset is about being aware of the risks but positive about the opportunities.

Of course, you shouldn’t ignore the mistakes you may have made in the past or be naïve about the issues you may face. However, the past is the past and the great thing about social media is that you can learn from mistakes and optimise your approach immediately. What could, or would, you have done differently? Seeing other companies going through turmoil can certainly teach you a thing or two about your approach to social media.

Secondly, social media should excite you! With a glass half-full mindset, you can explore how social media can help build your brand, engage a target audience, create a two-way dialogue and inform your business growth plans. You can be creative, you can have personality, even share a GIF or two.

But don’t forget, you need to be in control!

When exploring how social media can enhance your reputation, which it certainly can, you need to consider the following questions; how does your social media strategy fit with your business objectives? What are you trying to achieve from social media and how do you measure against this? What video, image or written content will you create and when and where will it go live? How will your audience react to this content and how will you respond to them? How and who will manage these communities? How do you report your learnings from social media to the senior leadership team?

Whether you have a glass half full or half empty mindset, the most important things to remember is your social media reputation is just like the glass, it’s fragile. Look after it and plan to look after it. Your reputation could break at any time but you have a better chance of saving the glass if you don’t place it at the edge of the table but in the middle.

Please feel free to contact me on to learn how you can devise and implement your social media strategy.

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