One of the greatest aspects of social media is that it allows both parties communicate, especially when it comes to businesses and customers. Getting your brand name out is no longer limited to traditional mediums where you hope that someone, somewhere is paying attention. In past years, marketing took a more personal route through e-mail marketing but this is now considered more of an annoyance. While some business took it upon themselves to engage their customers in a more personal way, others simply signed on for the sake of doing so. Essentially, feedback that is posted on social networking sites falls on deaf ears. This is an excellent way to distance your business from the people who have the power to make or break it so this is something you really should not be doing.
Here is an excerpt from research done by the Harvard Business Review Analytics Services:
“Social media is rapidly becoming a new force in organizations around the world, allowing them to reach out to and understand consumers as never before. In many companies, it will move from a “one-off initiative” to be an important, integrated tool in marketing and communications strategies.”
Here are a few ways to make social media work for your business by engaging your customers.
Make sure you reply to questions and feedback consistently and on time. More importantly, do not ask them to direct their queries to other departments because this will defeat the purpose of collecting feedback through social media. Ignoring customers will not make them happy and decrease their chances of doing business with you again in the future. Do not just answer questions: engage them in conversation and make sure to keep it going.
Make it a point to know what is being said about your business all over the internet. A good review can make your business while a bad one can break it so you must know what is being written about you so you can attend to it. Search for your business name on Twitter and you will easily see the tweets related to your business. Make use of Google to see what the online world thinks of you.
Take the positive feedback with the negative. By encouraging customers to get in touch with your business, you are bound to get complaints along with the glowing reviews. However, you do not have to worry about getting flooded with negative press since there are only a few who will take the effort to e-mail you directly about any gripes. If you look at RingCentral’s Facebook page, you will see both acclaim and complaints that have been responded to.
Here is an example of a company using social media the right way. Here are excerpts from an interview with Starbucks’ digital strategy director, Alexandra Wheeler by Brandweek.
“When we entered Facebook, there was certainly a community rallied around our brand that was very small. Our brand is just that relevant and part of people’s lives…, but how do we nurture, grow and build that and do it in a way that is a balance between providing relevant and meaningful content, experience and offers to those communities so that their connection with the brand is really adding value to Facebook or Twitter? We’re developing and fostering those relationships to ensure that we’re entering this space in the right way.”