If you run a small local business, you already know that the digital world affects your local life. That’s because real flesh and blood customers have a lot to say, and they tend to do it more often online than they do face to face. There are many reasons for this. For one, people tend to be a little shy about being too frank with their praise and complaints. It’s only natural. But this bashfulness tends to wash right away when customers are given the opportunity to talk about your business online. In situations like this, people don’t tend to mince words, especially when it comes to enthusiasm, either positive or negative.
So if you are a small business owner, it is necessary for you to take the social media bull by the horns. This downloadable guide for local businesses can go into some great detail about how to do just that. You should definitely read that. But for the view from 30,000 feet, check out the simple guide below.
1) Go Where Your Customers Are. Everybody uses Facebook, but some customer bases favor Twitter or Yelp or any of a hundred smaller social media spaces. It’s important to understand where your customers are talking about you, or interacting with your brand. Social media appears in many different forms. Reddit, for example, is a place of frank conversation, where you are liable to find people talking about their unalloyed thoughts regarding your business, for good or ill. But on Yelp, you’ll just find succinct review style rants, hopefully most or all of them good. Before you start speaking up, it’s good to search out the places your customers exist online, so you know where to find them.
2) Take Charge of the Conversation. A negative social media presence can quickly fester, so you’ve got to be there to stop it if things go bad. Let’s say you have twenty 5 star reviews on Yelp and three 1 star reviews. The 1 star reviews were based on misunderstandings or isolated incidents, but they can bring down your average. They can also worry your prospective customers. In cases like these, it’s important to speak directly and publicly to the complainers, so that other customers can see that you take complaints seriously, and so that people who have bad experiences can see those turned around.
3) Offer Great Content. Your social media presence is an extension of your brand. This means that everything you say and do on SM will influence the way people think about your brand, and will help them decide whether they want to work with you or not. So think of every word you type as a marketing opportunity, and make these entries good. Feel free to offer deals, tips, and humor to your social media audience. These are all ways to add value to the customer experience.
So take to your computer and find out how to give your social media presence a shot in the arm. It’s not hard, but it takes steady attention. In the end you’ll get it, and your business will be better for it.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: 3 Steps to Master Social Media for the Small Business
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