Social media is no longer a novelty, and in this day and age, maintaining an online presence is crucial in building a good reputation for your business.
Anything relating to your business online can impact a potential customer’s impression of your service – for this very reason, it’s important to use social media to establish your brand and build customer rapport.
Below are five steps to keep in mind when learning to utilize social media for your business.
- Social media and millennials – knowing your audience
Knowing your audience is essential, and social media is a good way of getting to know your market.
It’s been shown that 51% of millennials are strongly influenced by social media – that is to say, that over half of millennials are taking in your social presence, before even coming in to contact with your organization. This demographic is moving to become the biggest segment of the market, so it’s important to keep in mind that without a strong social media presence, you could be missing out on capturing this target audience.
There are a variety of factors to take on board when managing your social media accounts – while you don’t need to be on every platform, you should at least be on a few. Some of the more popular social media sites include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
Just under a billion people use Facebook every day, and you can bet that most of them will seek out your social media page before even contacting you – this is why social media is crucial to establishing trust and engaging with your audience.
The best way to do this is by regularly posting new content, replying to comments, building up likes and making sure your page links to other platforms such as your website and phone number.
- Engagement and feedback
Gone are the days of ridiculous waiting times just to call through to a customer service robot. When a customer these days has a question, compliment or even a complaint, often the first thing they will do is to seek out the business’s social media page and leave a comment.
Studies have shown that 83% of customers appreciate a reply from a business via social media. In fact, feedback and interaction is very important to them, which is why engaging with your clients through your page is vital.
Whether it be a reply with a simple ‘thank you’ or even just a ‘like’ of the customer’s comment, these interactions all aid the customer to build trust in your company and what you have to offer.
Picture this; you’ve decided that you want Italian for dinner. You open your phone and type ‘Italian restaurants’ into Google, there are two results for local Italian joints – one has no reviews, the other has dozens of reviews and a 5-star rating. Obviously, you’re going to choose the 5-star restaurant with the better reputation.
The amount of reviews, the content and the ratings all work to determine the level of trust a customer will have in your business. If your business has no reviews, or negative reviews, the customer will already expect to have a poor experience and perhaps look elsewhere.
Make sure to encourage great reviews to give potential clients a good impression from the get-go.
In this case, having a Google Plus account for your business, allows you to interact with customers and reply to reviews. If you run a hospitality-related business, it’s also wise to check out food-rating websites like Zomato.
Along with maintaining your social media pages, having a business website is also imperative, yet a little trickier.
You must take in to account so many factors when putting a website together – what does it say about your organization? Does it speak to your customer? Is it easy to navigate? Does it look professional? Is it easy to go from one page to the next? Is it up-to-date? Are there too many pictures or text? Does it link to your other social media accounts?
Not only must your website be visually appealing, it must also be responsive and must work well on every sort of device. If your website is not attractive or easy to use, the customer will look elsewhere. Even through your website, your clients must be given a good customer experience.
Other things to keep in mind include making sure that your phone number is visible, so that customers can get in contact easily. Include good testimonials, and possibly even a live chat button so that questions can be answered on-the-spot.
Keep an eye on website statistics as well. You can determine what audience has been viewing your website more frequently, and which pages are getting viewed for longer. This can really help you in determining what sort of content you need on your website to reach your target demographic.
- Internet search
Last but not least, always remember that many potential clients will probably find your business through an internet search. For this reason, you need to make sure your business has good exposure.
Google algorithms for what comes up in their search engine change frequently, so the best way to stay at the top of the list is by having good reviews, and an active social media presence. Having a good level of interaction and engagement, and a good number of likes and follows all factor in to keeping your business prevalent.
Make sure that your website and social media pages are all aligned so that you can easily be found, and dominate the market over your competitors by utilizing social media to your advantage!
While these are only a few factors surrounding the importance of social media for your business, remember that social media is always changing, and you must move with the times if you want your business to strive and succeed.
Making sure that your online presence is significant, that you’re engaging with potential clients, and that you’ve made everything on your website seamless, are important steps in building customer loyalty.