There are basically three types of reputation management:
1. Creation and building. In the infancy of a company, or perhaps their infancy in smm, creating and building a reputation has to do a lot with the initial communications with the world around them on social sites. Being proactive and transparent is paramount. It also takes time.
2. Maintenance. This is the continuation of the above type, and comes with time for most businesses. Some businesses are lucky enough to already have a great reputation either within smm, or because of their known history, so sometimes this ends up being the starting point.
3. Reclaim. Here is one of the most overlooked aspects of smm. Some companies fear smm irrationally due to the chance someone will publicly post a negative comment. In actuality, people always did. The company just never heard about it! In the wold of smm, a company now has a chance to address a concern publicly. This transparency is a tool to be used to actually turn a negative into a positive. People want to be heard when they are dissatisfied, and acknowledging them speaks volumes about how you do business. This in turn allows others to trust in your product or service.
Historically, it was difficult for companies to assess their reputation. Many prospects or clients/consumers were lost without the business ever knowing. With today's tools, a proactive involvement, and an open mind, it is quite possible to increase sales by simply being honest and forthright and most importantly listening to your market.