Social media for businesses is about more than posting in a one-way style to those you hope are watching. That's become a common tactic for business pages these days, but looking at it this way really takes the social out of social media.
At its best, social media is a platform for conversations, for sharing ideas, and for businesses to get feedback from customers and fans about service. Yes, occasionally that means there will be an angry customer that states their displeasure on the page, but this can be an opportunity. If the concern is addressed professionally it can accomplish a few things:
- The unhappy customer may appreciate being listened to and may change their opinion of their frustration is "made right", which prevents them from being a naysayer and can keep them as a loyal future customer.
- If the unhappy customer still wants to part ways, at least they probably feel like they've gotten it out of their system. They could've vented anywhere — at least the business' page is something easy to mitigate.
- Other customers will see how the situation was resolved with the customer in mind, and it will increase goodwill to anyone following the page to know that concerns are dealt with promptly.
These points are great ways to put a positive spin on what could be an unfortunate situation, but taking ownership of one's social media presence in business can do far more than help in managing the company's image. The most successful pages tend to be ones that engage with their audiences more personally. Rather than simply sharing industry-related articles, these pages ask fans their opinions, create interactive media like polls, and share the personality of the brand with a human touch.
Larger organizations tend to have dedicated staff to make all this happen, but it's not always possible in smaller businesses. Whether there's a lack of time or expertise, it's a lot to keep up with and it's easy to fall behind. Consistency is very important, so if you can't stay engaged regularly you'll probably notice readers won't come back as often or be as willing to share their own ideas. But the key is to be creating material people would miss of you stopped. If the nature of your posts were such that if you disappeared for two weeks no one would notice as they scrolled down their news feeds, it hasn't been worth the time you've put in.
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