Social media is ideal for self-promotion, and it doesn’t take a lot. Daily tweets, status updates, or photos keep celebrities in the public eye. A lot of them make use of several platforms all at once so they can keep all their fans updated, even the fans who don’t use Instagram or eschew Twitter. They’ll share their activities, their plans, and information about upcoming projects to keep people in the flow. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms give an opportunity to build reputation and personal brand for everyone. If in the past only big politicians or other public people had need of help of professionals to build and maintain their good name, in the digital era, in the era of the complex ecosystem of social media, common people also might need help.
And here Reputation specialists, like Daniel Scavino, come on the scene.
Who are they, Reputation Specialists?
Basically, online reputation management specialist takes care of your presence online and how people perceive it.
“It’s so great that I have Twitter now because I can knock the crap out of people,” Donald Trump told once. “I have my own printing press now!”
Does Donald Trump manage his Twitter by himself? Actually, only half of Trump’s twits went from him, other part remains to Dan Scavino, the White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President. Scavino was another of the “originals” on Trump’s 2016 campaign, the conductor of the so-called “Trump’s train”. Right after Inauguration Day, Scavino had got an official title: assistant to the president and director of social media, a position that had never existed before and one that paid him the maximum White House staff salary of $179,700.
The Trump White House continued to employ an official photographer (Shealah Craighead) as well as a chief digital officer (Ory Rinat). This small digital team shared a suite across the street, in the Executive Office Building. But Scavino got an office on the ground floor of the West Wing, just down the hall from the leader of the free world.
Trump’s presence as the first Twitter-based Presidency is no fluke. His social media presence is intentional and strategic, his posts – while individually senseless – are collectively incredibly shareable. This is what matters in politics in the internet era, a candidate’s ability to enter the household through televisions, computers, cell phones, and more. While it is difficult to view Trump as successful in the political realms that traditionally have shaped the presidency, his continued success is owed largely to his ability to navigate the modern globalized world. However the rest of his presidency develops, at least one aspect will remain constant: Trump’s active online presence is not only definitive of his presidency but no doubt will shape and inspire all subsequent national elections for as long as social media can reign supreme.
Actually, managing an online reputation is also essential for every business. It plays a key role in maintaining a business’ customer base and crucial to fostering new clients. Managing your brand and improving or building on your brand’s reputation can be the difference between a customer choosing your business or one of your competitors.
Celebrities are brands unto themselves. Katy Perry is a brand; Jonah Hill is a brand; Snooki is a brand. Whether they make music, star in movies and television shows, or write books, celebrities aren’t just people. However, they often have outside interests that make money for them too. The Kardashians, as well as being reality show royalty, have their own clothing store which they showcase on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Jay-Z and P. Diddy have various endeavours, as does Donald Trump, and they make more money by sharing their ideas on social media.
Digital Reputation Specialists are the people who ensure that your reputation is always favourable in the eye of the public on social media. It is their job to ensure that a good reputation is promoted and a bad reputation is negated. They have to create goodwill, build relationships and generate awareness in people. They have to keep a vigil on the media and the internet to ensure no untoward activities take place. A reputation specialist generally wears three hats, namely:
- Builder: Involved in building or improving the reputation
- Manager: Involved in the analysis and management of reputation across the media and the internet
- Marketer: Involved in promoting and marketing the reputation of the brand amongst the public
Traditionally the reputation specialist’s job in big companies is executed by a Public Relations (PR) Team or the Brand Manager, but in the digital age, it is part of a digital marketer’s or an internet marketer’s job. A Reputation Specialist needs to follow all the aspects of life and developing of his customer’s brand. Though they might not have to execute all activities related to reputation, they definitely need to be knowledgeable about them.
As a reputation builder, reputation specialists should carry out all the activities necessary to build or improve the reputation of a personal brand. Their first task is to create an image for the person. They should be able to identify the positioning for the person and their business, and how to communicate this positioning to the target audience. It is their job to ensure people know more about the personal brand.
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As a reputation manager, the reputation specialist should keep a watch on all activities related to the reputation of the client. They have to analyse and manage an online presence. While doing so, their most important task is to neutralize a negative reputation that is created for the business. They should diffuse such situations immediately.
As a reputation marketer, reputation specialists should be able to promote the personal brand using its current reputation. They should make use of the reputation built so far to sell more products and services. They should be able to emotionally connect with prospects by use of testimonials and build an enduring belief. Reputation marketers should be able to gain more customers via referral marketing.
What exactly do Reputation Specialists do?
If they are part of the agency as AICY-Create, their job is to personally manage the online presence of some of the clients. They are tasked with managing websites, creating content, and managing social media accounts in order to build a highly visible online brand for clients. They also organize and send reports to each client to let them know what has been accomplished and communicate strategy moving forward.
Digital Reputation Specialist not only helps in creating brand identity but also need to manage crisis situations. Above all they need to prevent eventual negative buzz around your brand, maybe even correct previous mistakes in your online communication. They will also monitor your competitor and all topics related to your online activity. These should make your positive impact online more powerful.
And in the base of all lies analyses. Work of digital Reputation Specialist starts and ends with analysing. First, they need to conduct some serious research and localise your reputation’s strong and weak points to know what to focus on. Describe your target and decide the most suitable social media platforms. Then come up with a strategy of building a strong and reliable personal brand.
Follower to engagement ratio is vital and this is the first thing that every brand checks before approaching any celebrity. To improve an engagement ratio, reputation specialist regularly responds to your updates. Audience love when their comments are liked or replied to. Just look at any social media platform, there are countless comments or tweets where fans tag and mention celebrities in order to get attention and are delighted when they get it. This will make them more active and will significantly improve engagement.
Owners of personal brand expect a lot from reputation specialists, and it leads to becoming a very high-pressure job. After all, the reputation specialist is essentially the public face for the brand they work for.
No doubt, one of Scavino’s main roles is the care and feeding of his boss’s ego. He has learned how to fend off any negativity with a ready supply of superlatives. While Hope Hicks would inform Trump about how some matter might be playing in the mainstream media, Scavino would “tell him how things are playing with his people. That’s a gauge for him that the president takes seriously.” More than anyone else in the White House, the director of social media spends his day online, monitoring the #MAGA congregation. “Dan talks to the base more than anybody else after the president,” one senior White House official told. “He’s the conductor of the Trump Train, and these people know he’s true blue, and he also knows all the influencers.”
Which skills do Reputation Specialists need?
Strong Written and Verbal Communication Skills. First of all, Reputation Specialist needs to communicate effectively. That means they need to be able to write bios and content for clients, answer complex questions simply and clearly.
Organisational skills. Reputation Specialist not only needs to report back to each of the clients but also needs to report back to the management team on the exact status of each one. Reputation Specialist has to effectively manage their own time and keep a tight schedule in order to be successful.
Reputation Specialist cares about their work. At the agencies, as AICY-Create everyone understands well, that they are dealing with people’s reputations, and they are rightly sensitive about them. One of our competitive advantages is how sincere and transparent one is.
Reputation Specialist should love a challenge. This isn’t an average 9-5 job. Personal branding agencies, as AICY-Create, are a collaborative team and they want people who jump at the opportunity to pitch in wherever they’re needed. The most successful Specialists are the ones who want to go above and beyond and who don’t shy away from an occasional late night.
Reputation Specialist should be loyal to the client. Scavino’s importance to the president certainly helps explain how he has managed to survive a succession of internecine bloodlettings in the West Wing. But it’s also the case that he is well-liked among his colleagues. Typically such efforts descended into cliché: “I’ve never met anyone who’s as hard-working or as loyal.” “The one guy who outworked me.” “The president has zero concern that Dan has any interest in anything but serving him.” “You never see Dan out there hogging the limelight .”
In reality, most celebrities outsource to agencies and managers to assist them in what can be a full-time job.
Britney Spears, Taylor Swift, Hugh Jackman, Kanye West have a lot of things to do. They don’t really have time to photoshop photos or send twits. Charlize Theron is one of many busy celebs who has hired a social media marketing company to help her manage her brand and keep her social media accounts frequently updated. Her Twitter feed may not always be in her own words, but it does share some of what’s close to Theron’s heart and on her mind.
Emma Watson has been publicly outed as one of the many stars who doesn’t contribute every word to their own Twitter feeds. Like many others in Hollywood, Watson hired a social media publicity company to help her out her various acting achievements and keep her fans up-to-date on all her latest roles and movie projects. Like many working actors, Emma does a lot of work on her roles so she can keep acting. This doesn’t give her a lot of time to promote her own achievements on Twitter. While some celebrities try to hide the fact that they hire companies to run their social media accounts, Watson hasn’t been secretive about it.
Building a solid reputation sometimes takes years of dedication and hard work. It might just take a moment to waste it if you neglect your presence in the media. Make sure you have an experienced team monitoring and manage your online reputation and fixing the issues. Protect your reputation and grow your business by working with AICY-Create!
Brizzo is a dynamic and energetic investor, marketing strategist, musician and online reputation specialist. He is the Co-Founder of AICY Create, https://www.aicy-create.com/, a leading marketing agency based in China, with expertise in Personal Branding and China Digital Marketing.