Social media allows businesses and organizations to form a more personal relationship with their clients. Positive feedback on social media can improve your company’s image just as word of mouth can. Unfortunately, it also opens the door to criticism, but even the occasional complaint can be turned into a shining moment for your company. It’s a complicated world, which is why I’ve compiled 10 tips for improving your company’s reputation through social media.
If you really want to get to know your clients and potential clients, follow up once they’ve initiated contact through social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Doing so will open the door to a whole new relationship. Do you have to read everything they post? Do you need to hire a social media specialist to complete this task? Not necessarily. A simple acknowledgment will go a long way. Show interest in them. Share their posts if you think it’s something your followers might enjoy. For instance, we like to share positive messages and quotes that encourage people to adopt healthy lifestyle choices.
Make Original Posts and Tweets Helpful
Don’t simply toot your own horn or post contact information for your organization. Instead, enlighten readers with articles and tips that would appeal to them. Starting a company blog allows your clients and potential clients to view original content on a regular basis. Blog topics should be interesting, current, helpful, and end with a call to action. The blog article can also direct potential customers to another relevant page. It is important to integrate all levels of your online marketing campaign.
Make Things Right When Something’s Gone Wrong
Occasionally, unhappy individuals will comment on your company’s social media accounts. This is often done in an attempt to get attention or “humiliate” you or “hurt your feelings”. Some of these can be from paying customers. It is important to defuse the situation and make things right not only because the whole world is watching, but because every customer is important. It’s nice to respond to positive comments as well. People want to know that their opinions have been read by the company. No matter what, take the high road.
Monitor Social Media Accounts Daily
It is wise to check your social media accounts every day. In addition to positive and negative comments from clients, your company’s accounts may fall victim to spam or trolling. This is when random, hateful comments that have nothing to do with your organization or products are posted on your wall. These comments can be offensive to some of your followers, so it is wise to delete them as soon as possible. You can also often implement an option where you can review any posts before allowing them onto your site, social media page, etc.
Use Feedback As a Tool for Improvement
Rather than simply righting a wrong when you are called out on social media, use the opportunity to improve certain areas your business. Fixing any problems now will help you retain customers later. Sometimes, loyal customers offer constructive criticism on social media. Don’t dismiss their concerns. Make it a learning opportunity.
Keep Up With Trends
Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter are still the most popular social media sites today; however, things change quickly online. To reach the maximum number of potential clients, you must participate in every one of the most popular sites. This may seem impossible due to time constraints. Fortunately, there are some free applications available that allow you to share a post on all social media accounts with one click.
Some companies drive potential clients away by posting too much on social media accounts. It is important not to overwhelm followers and make yourself a nuisance. For most businesses, one post per day is enough. Two posts a day are usually plenty. Exceptions include media outlets, which may post breaking news.
There are many ways to encourage feedback on social media. Start a contest. Offer a prize. Ask their opinion on product changes. Tell them to share their testimonials. Offer a product coupon in exchange for a retweet or share. Ask them to vote on a name for your newest product. Companies are communicating with their clients in many different ways on social media today. The most successful campaigns entice people to interact.
Some companies have made their employees famous by regularly tweeting or sharing behind-the-scenes photos. A business may encourage key employees to post on its Facebook wall. Putting a face with your company can make it more personal and forward your company culture. You can also use social media to give clients a sneak peek at new products and offer certain privileges. Whatever approach you take, think it through beforehand. While your posts can have an air of spontaneity, you must still project a professional image and forward your message.
Watch Your Competition
Keeping up with your competition is important in social media. Do they have more followers than you? What are they doing differently than you? Mimic their behavior if you feel you must do so, but make sure you supply original content and ideas. What makes you unique? Why should people choose you over your competition? Emphasize those points.
A Communication Channel
Companies must learn to embrace social media. It is not a passing phase. If you have read this much of the article, you obviously have an interest in the subject. Believe it or not, there are still some companies that resist social media. Simply opening an account and posting once a year will not bring you new clients.
Look on social media as a communication channel that follows certain laws. Neglect it and it will cease to serve you. Mistreat it and it will backfire. Glut it with unrelated items and concepts and your message will suffer and be drowned out. Use it properly and in alignment with your overall objectives, forward your messages with eloquence and continuity, answer people’s questions and cultivate the relationship, and you’ll see positive results. How intelligently you go about it will determine the volume and speed of those results.