In many of my conversations with small business owners, this question will often arise:
“How can having a presence in social media help my business?”
Good question. Not everyone jumped on the social media bandwagon right out of the gate, and with good reason. No one wants to invest valuable time and money into another “flash in the pan”. But social media did not fizzle out. In fact, Americans spend between five and eleven hours daily on social networking sites. That is a lot of time no longer devoted to, say, reading the paper, or watching TV. So you’ve climbed on board, placing profiles across all the popular platforms and are off to promote your business on the stage of social media. Now what?
What today’s business owner needs to understand about social media marketing is that traditional marketing strategy is not always the best practice for marketing on social platforms. Business pages are a relatively new addition in the social media world, and companies advertising here need to tread lightly. Not too long ago, Facebook was considered a sacred space by millenials, before Zuckerburg opened the floodgates on membership. Social media is first and foremost a means of connecting with one another. We share photos of our children and pets, update friends on our meal plans and join groups to talk about topics of interest with like-minded people. It’s a place to escape for some, and to network for others. But it is not a place where anyone wants to see ads in their face all day long.
One of the biggest advantages of your company having a social presence is the fact that you can engage with your customers on a personal level. You can appeal to their human side, and the best way to do this is through social care. What is social care? It’s social media customer service.
While it’s hugely beneficial to have social profiles, it’s an equally huge risk to provide sub-par customer service through social media. Think about it, if a customer is unhappy with a call center rep, it’s private, but the whole world is privy to an unhappy social care experience. Close to one half of all social media users engage in social care and one third prefer using social media rather than a customer service hotline. What’s more, one third of those users engage in social care on a weekly basis.
Additionally, consumers with a positive social care experience are three times more likely to recommend that brand or company to others.
Social media has officially blurred the lines of marketing and service. But fret not, business owners! This also creates a unique opportunity to cultivate truly loyal customers. Social care does not always have to refer to a negative experience. Social media users love to advocate for brands and companies that they feel have really taken care of them. This creates invaluable exposure for your business. Also, companies that have an effective social care strategy experience a 10% reduction in customer support costs. Businesses can even leverage social data to measure the overall satisfaction with their customer service.
So now the question is, how do you put an effective social care strategy in place? Well, it’s actually quite simple.
Rule #1: Never, ever, ever ignore or delete a negative comment or post about your company or products. Instead, take the conversation out of public view. Make sure that your first response is public, ie: “We’re so sorry about your experience, would you mind sending us a private message with more details so that we can remedy this ASAP”.
Rule #2: A timely response is crucial. Consumers expect a rapid social care response, 25% within 30 minutes, 21% within 2 hours, and 35% the same day. The slower the response, the worse your social care reputation becomes.
Rule #3: Don’t just focus on the negative feedback, respond to your advocates as well. Someone who takes the time to compliment you on your goods or services is not doing so in vain. Make sure you are responding with a simple “thank you” just as quickly to those that are singing your praises.
That’s it! If you implement these three simple social care rules into your marketing strategy, you will be amazed at the loyalty that develops in your customers. At Lead to Conversion, we specialize in helping businesses develop and execute effective social media marketing strategy. Call us today to improve your business’s social performance.
Miranda Imperi is an Integrated Search Specialist at Lead to Conversion. She specializes in content marketing and relationship building and believes in a holistic and integrated approach to SEO. She has helped many businesses improve their internet presence and traffic through link building, guest blogging, and social media platform optimization.