Marketing benefits acquired using social networking to promote your business cannot be overlooked. The opportunity to connect with your customers, clients, or patients directly is priceless. You can find out what products or services they like and those they do not like. Learning what customer’s current needs are and perhaps their future needs can help you be ready to meet those needs. This information can be used to build your brand/business and increase sales.
Direct contact with customers allows you to create customer loyalty and increase referrals from satisfied customers. Customers can get to know you better. It is a great way to reach many of your customers in one place. You can promote new products or services. Is there information that would be helpful to your customers? You can reach them easier than ever before. You can run promotions via your Facebook or other social media to increase business. Social media is now being used to help businesses find out more about possible candidates to fill their open positions too.
Despite many gains from using social media in business, there are some potential downsides too. An unhappy customer, client, or patient can post bad reviews about their experience at your business, and there is little you can do. They may be entirely wrong, but they have a right to their opinion. What can you do?
Here are a few suggestions to help you. Review the social media complaint sites frequently as well as the social media you use to market your business to catch such posts as soon as possible. If you are reading this article, you may already have received a bad review. If the person posting a bad review is a child, you may contact the parents and enlist their help in getting the criticism removed. If the unhappy customer is an adult, you should post a comment that simply states, “I am sorry you are so unhappy. Why don’t you call me, so we can work this out?” Do not get into an “argument” on social media. Resist the urge to defend yourself. This will erode your online image quickly.
There are electronic solutions you can try. Many involve a fee. Set up personal alerts (Google Alerts) to let you know when any online buzz negatively affecting your name or business exists and remove them (i.e. Reputation.com, Google’s Me on the Web, Naymz). You can hire an image consultant to monitor your online reputation for you.
You spend time and money building your business. Your professional reputation is important.