Does Your Company Take A Social Approach?
Most of us know that social media is more than just a buzz term. For the millions and millions of people and businesses that partake in social media on a daily basis, it is their lifeline in many cases to the outside world. They oftentimes get their news, advertise their businesses and browse and make purchases online all from this social medium.
As a small business owner, are you more of a social company or an anti-social company?
The advantages of social media far outweigh the disadvantages, especially given the fact that using SM for the most part is free. The greatest expenses to using social media are simply time and effort, two things companies should certainly not be willing to shy away from when it comes to promoting their brands.
When a strong social media campaign is in place, businesses can reach out to potential customers and better explain to them how they can assist them.
As a number of studies have indicated recently, an increasing segment of the population is turning to venues such as Twitter for news, sharing different product and service information on Facebook with friends and family, and essentially spending more time engaged in Internet research and conversation.
For example, say you are a small business providing health care products. While you still could and should do a lot of traditional advertising via print, you can essentially advertise for free through social media by engaging individuals in what products you offer, what services are available, when you have specials running and more.
That being the case, it is to the advantage of a business to engage the consumer online in order to reach out to them and have a potential sale in the offing.
In order to be in the best position to engage customers online, be sure to:
- Provide a strong and updated presence on sites like Twitter and Facebook – Just being on social networking sites is not good enough. You need to regularly update the sites in order to get the most out of them. Important ways to do this include providing relevant and fresh information, sharing/retweeting information that will benefit both present and potential customers;
- Provide good customer relationship management (CRM) – Today’s customers are in many cases juggling busy work schedules, families and so on. The bottom line is time is of the essence, so your social media message to them needs to be precise and not viewed as spam. Be social, but do it in a productive and time effective manner;
- Provide engagement for customers - Reaching out to customers is one thing, but do you respond to their questions and concerns? Customer service is not only done via phone calls, emails and even letters, but also through online conversations. If an individual contacts your company through your Twitter and/or Facebook pages, be sure to respond in a prompt manner;
- Provide answers, not more questions - If a customer or potential customer comes to your social media sites seeking answers, don’t make it so that they leave with even more questions. Even if you need a little time to compile the answer, let the individual know you are working on the situation. Given the real-time reality of social media, it is very easy to lose business or potential business if you are slow to respond online.
Even though customer relationship management comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, it provides businesses an unlimited number of possibilities when it comes in the form of social media. If you’re not involved in the social media wave engulfing the world, you’d better not wait much longer to hitch a ride.