You need to realise that social media isn’t just for chatting with friends – it’s an important business tool. Many businesses are starting to ask themselves how they even managed before social media.
Imagine collecting hundreds of phone numbers and dialling customers one-by-one to tell them about an exciting new product launch or special offer. It would take hundreds of man-hours and would basically be pointless from a cost-benefit point of view. Now, one simple tweet or post could reach hundreds or even thousands of followers. Just a simple click of a button does all that marketing for you.
Social media is great for both communicating with existing customers AND reaching out to new ones. If you can grow an effective and active social media presence with your existing customer-base, you should start to see things filter through to a wider audience in your community.
Handling complaints on social media
You also need to make sure you always address people’s concerns or complaints quickly and effectively. One of the downsides of social media is that people will often use it to vent about your business if they feel they’ve had a raw deal or something didn’t quite go as expected.
These sorts of issues can actually be turned around and used to your advantage. When dealing with complaints – you need to go about and beyond in order to put things right – even if that means giving away something for free. Negative rumors about your business can spread quickly, and anyone who feels harshly treated will probably not return.
Make sure negative comments about your business on social media are responded to politely and effectively. Offer unhappy customers a discount or a chance to try something different in the hope they’ll return and change their opinion. Don’t let negative comments go unchallenged.
How to manage your social media presence
If you’re not that good with this sort of thing, you can hire third-party social media management firms to take care of it for you. For a small business, this probably isn’t necessary. Simply make sure you check your accounts regularly and respond to comments promptly.
If you want, you can “promote” one of your more tech-savvy members of staff to “social media manager” and let them take care of things.