Would you behave differently if your annual review was public and accessible to anyone?
Every professional has had an annual review. You sit down with your boss and go through your year’s work. Did you meet your goals? Where did you excel? Where did you come up short? How can you improve your performance? What do you need to thrive in the workplace? Typically, your entire year’s work is whittled down to a single score, 1 to 5.
Imagine if this review was a matter of public record. Everyone could see it. Now imagine, not only can everyone see your public review… everyone can contribute to it. Whoever wants can chime in with their own comments about your performance.
“Your service is exemplary.”
“Your service is slow.”
“You’re an active listener and ask great questions.”
“You never pay attention.”
“Great work, 5 stars!”
“Awful experience, would give 0 stars if I could.”
Every single person’s individual experience and subjective opinion is forever enshrined in your public review. There are probably a lot of conflicting voices, but over time, a consensus emerges.
Your brand is simply an annual review made public.
There’s a shared collective opinion about who you are and how you do your work. Your 1 to 5 ranking is a matter of public record. That’s what your company’s brand is.
And where does that public brand review live?
First of all, social media is where your customers submit their brand reviews. Every single comment you have ever received is a brand review. Every negative comment you’ve ever received (and probably ignored) is a strike against you. It’s a public blight on your brand—and it doesn’t just go away when that thread creeps into obscurity. The sentiment is there forever. Your followers have already seen it, and it’s already lowered the aggregate public opinion of your brand.
More than that… the algorithm has seen it.
The internet never forgets, and the algorithm never forgives. It knows your history. It knows what your company’s reputation is—not just the polished, curated reviews you post on your website, but ever condescending tweet, snarky Facebook comment, and dismissive Yelp review. And frankly, it doesn’t discriminate. Fact, opinion, hearsay, utter myth… doesn’t matter. The algorithm simply serves up what the internet is saying. And it exists to serve the user, not your company.
So everything that has ever been said about your company—that’s your resume.
In this scenario, your company is the employee. Your social media followers are your reviewers. But the ultimate boss, the president and CEO, that’s the algorithm.
Whenever anything is said about your brand, the algorithm takes a note and slides it into your permanent file. Someone searching for a company that does what you do?
The algorithm determines whether your company is worthy or not.
If your brand’s public perception is a chorus of 5-star reviews, it’s in the algorithm’s best interest to promote your content. You will get more out of every dollar invested in your social media budget—your ROI will be 2x, 5x, or 10x your competitors, easy. The algorithm will ensure it.
Your company’s brand is splotched with bad reviews—low engagement, negative comments, high bounce rate, inefficient cost-per-click? For you, it’s pay-to-play, and it won’t be cheap. The algorithm doesn’t prioritize your content, doesn’t want to bother anyone with it, and will only do so when it’s been sufficiently bribed. You can buy your way onto timelines, but your ROI will be abysmal and your brand will continue to spiral into oblivion.
You need to treat everyone who could potentially see you on social media like your boss giving you an annual performance review. You need to build their trust. You need to speak their language. You need to meet their expectations. You need to earn their respect.
That’s hard to do with one boss, and it’s even harder with thousands or millions of potential customers judging you through social media. But that’s what you must do. Or your brand will be forgotten—in other words, you’re fired.
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