Social Media Powers Your Online Reputation in Real-Time.
Social media holds power over your online reputation. Like SEO, social media can be used in every aspect of your sales and marketing strategy, but today we’re just going to talk about building awareness because letting people know you exist is the first step to growing your business.
First and foremost, having a business listing on Google, and a Facebook Page is the universal way of saying “We Exist!” the same way having a website on Google does, but what’s more important is that Google and Facebook can help you manage your online reputation. The problem with Google business listings is that even though it has reviews, no one is waiting for you to respond. They post the review and move on.
You may have the best cupcakes in the world, but if no one knows you exist, does it really matter?
Social media platforms like Facebook let you see and respond to reviews just like Google but you can publicly share a positive experience with a customer on your page or address any bad ones. It’s free publicity because the business is more likely to show up in someone’s feed when you interact with them, like responding to reviews or commenting back on a post. With Facebook’s new approach, their news feed, which values interactions and friends more than the content you like, allows you to reach people where they spend time reading articles, watching videos and talking to friends for at least a couple hours per day!
So what if you could know the type of experience you will have with a business before you ever buy from them? Not only will your customers see your responses, but friends of your customers will see them too. This will help to start building the trust you need with your customers by letting them know you appreciate them for sharing their experience, even when they have a bad one.
Facebook values comments more than ever, because they want to see businesses and friends provide the kind of value that keeps them on Facebook. Now you can interact with customers in real-time, and set expectations and build you’re online reputation through social media.
Creating Value by Sharing Your Expertise
Social media has gone through many changes from providing tons of great features like reviews, services, and chatbots, to explorations into how augmented reality can be used in social media. All while undergoing scrutiny in an age of overwhelming information consumption. We literally inhale content as consumers.
But…your business stands out online with the same qualities people look for in businesses offline which is good customer service and expertise (i.e. Do you know what your talking about and do you care if I have a good experience). You can start by sharing a mix of both content you create like videos, branded pictures, infographics and user-generated content (pictures from customers) that show off your work. Then go to other posts that relate to your business and participate in conversations and give away free information that will in turn make you “the guy” they need to talk to on the subject.
A great example is when restaurants or chefs release their signature recipes on Pinterest for people to try and other useful tips like knife skills and easy ways to clean up. They share it because they know you go to a restaurant because of the experience of a good atmosphere, food and not having to clean up the dishes. At the end of the night when you try to cook your favorite meal from your favorite restaurant, not only does it not taste the same for a variety of reasons, you’re exhausted from cooking and now you have to clean up!
The reality is that today anyone can do anything themselves, but it begs the question is it worth doing it ourselves? For some Do It Yourselfers maybe and that’s not your customer, but for the rest of us…we need help!
Use social media to reach people who would rather save time and money to pay you for your services because you’re the expert. Besides the best way to start a great relationship is by giving them pointers when they try to do it on their own so that at the end of the day, they’ll come back to you.
Expertise isn’t enough, bring customers in with great customer service.
People love prompt responses which explains the rise in chatbots. Yes, you know your talking to a bot, but if it immediately answers your question or helps you contact someone you need who cares!
There are still many businesses that respond quickly and build a strong following who don’t have chatbots. Which means a business using social media successfully understands the importance of a quick response. Take a look at a Facebook business page and you’ll find proof. Facebook lists the response time prominently on the page, so you know if you’ll get a response back in an hour, a day, a week or longer. For the businesses whom respond promptly, it’s a great opportunity to answer questions and collect information on people who want to know more about your service or product. This information can help you learn more about your ideal customer.
Growing reviews, sharing user generated content, and your latest work makes customers you want aware of your business. This can lead to them visiting your website, contacting you through social media or contacting you directly. The first step is to generate that awareness and build trust through reputation management, content marketing, establishing your credibility as an expert, and responsive service.
Social media is a lot like dating. You wouldn’t ask someone you just met to marry you right? But you would probably check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to make sure they are the kind of person you want to get to know better. The same works with your business. Take a look at our social media packages to start attracting customers through social media outlets.
What are the next steps?
Social media is an investment. It can be rewarding for your business with the right strategy. Decide if your business can invest the time it takes to research, plan, create and execute a consistent strategy. Researching your competitors will help you understand what makes them successful. Plan a strategy for the best way to share a message that will engage your target audience. Your audience wants to learn more about you. Most of all they want to see video, pictures and interesting articles they can relate with or share. Finally, have a clear message and create content for your plan and add it to a calendar using a scheduling tool. You can also read this article for more benefits of social media for businesses.
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We love building websites and working with small businesses to learn and develop the best possible web solutions for them. Want to know who they are? That is Jake at left, Kevin at right...the others are not allowed to be photographed, they are classified.
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