Chapter 25How Do We Track and Defend Our Reputation on Social Media?

I talked at the beginning of the book about a Boston-based firm. We were meeting with the head of the advisor network, the chief marketing officer, and others, talking about the opportunities with social media.

Then, the head of customer service piped up and asked, “Why would we want to be on social media when people can say things that hurt your brand?”

The CMO instantly chimed in, “It's happening anyway. This is a way to manage our brand.”

I thought to myself, “Wow, she really gets it. I can understand his fear, but isn't it more worrisome to have hundreds or thousands of customers out there, saying things about you or your products, and you're not aware of it? Does turning your eyes away help? Or does it actually create more risk, leaving you vulnerable to the day when something big will happen, and you'll be totally unprepared for how to address it?”

Failure to use social media in some way poses a greater risk—a risk that your reputation will be shaped by the conversations happening out there, conversations that are led by others, not by you. The new online world presents an opportunity to know what's being said, and to manage it. How you respond says a great deal about your firm and its leaders.

The old adage—In business, your reputation is your livelihood—is perhaps more accurate today than at any other time in history. No business or profession—including advisors and planners—can expect to thrive and ...

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