2. Share your company’s unique viewpoints and stories.
While social media won’t replace face-to-face interactions at your business, you have many opportunities to share your company’s story with prospective and current customers before that first visit.
Think about what makes your company’s services or products special and how you can share that online in a way that can educate, inspire, or intrigue your reader. Is your signature dish based on a multi-generational recipe? Or do you have tips for DIY stain removal that are fail-proof?
Once you’ve posted your content, make sure to check on how it’s performing. Are people liking, commenting on, or sharing it? Learning about what your audience likes and dislikes can guide future content and how your company represents itself.
3. Monitor online conversations and find company mentions.
Social monitoring can help you find customers looking for help or talking about your company.
You can search Twitter for keywords that are related to your product or service. If you run a local business, you’ll really like advanced Twitter search, which enables you to search for public posts near you. It can also help you find posts that mention your business’ name (‘My Restaurant’) without using your business’ Twitter username (‘@myrestaurant’). And both versions of Twitter search will work even if you don’t have a Twitter account.
You can also search Facebook for mentions of your company or non-branded products, but you’ll only see posts that are publicly shared. Most Facebook posts are shared with friends only, so you may not see as many on this channel.
4. Track your business’ reviews and check-ins.
Set aside some time to check your company’s Yelp, Foursquare, and Google Places reviews and tips on a regular basis. While you can’t delete reviews, even if you disagree with the content, you can always publicly respond to a Yelp or Google Places review. In addition to a public response, you may also want to reach out to the reviewer via private message.
5. Learn from customers’ opinions and improve your services and business.
Use the information that you’ve gleaned from social media monitoring and business reviews to improve or change aspects of your business — at your discretion, of course. While rushing into major changes should be avoided, social media feedback can provide a different point of view that you’re missing.
You may want to get more information about customers’ perspectives by reaching out to them directly. Remember, though, that the best social media conversations — especially if the author did not directly notify you by including your username — should be similar to a face-to-face conversation. Be polite and courteous; build a relationship before jumping right into selling or promoting your product, especially if you’re responding to a criticism.
Are you using social media in your small business?
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