New Social Media Uses for Small Businesses
Small businesses need to get the word out about their presence in the community in order to build a clientele. While word or mouth is a good place to start, social media can also be a powerful tool to attract customers to products, services, and deals.
Social media is also used as a medium for customer service – when a customer is upset or has a question, he might very likely go to the Twitter or Facebook page of a business to get resolution.
There are several ways you can use social media for your small business’ customer service needs.
1. Active Conversations
If you plan on using Twitter or Facebook as a customer service tool, you must check the accounts every day. Ideally, small business owners should check in several times per day to see if there is new customer feedback.
Respond directly to people, tagging their FB name or Twitter handle so they are sure to see your response, and their friends will also see the communication and thus your social media page.
Active conversations are a great way to form a personal relationship with your fans and clients – the more people feel like you know and care about them, the better your chances will become of gaining a loyal following.
2. Conflict Resolution
Customer service sometimes means resolving a negative experience that one of your customers or clients has brought to your attention.
Respond to these types of comments very quickly, and always with respect.
Responding swiftly and kindly will impress your customers, while failing to resolve the issue will make it seem as if you don’t care.
Since these interactions are public, it is more important than ever to be careful while choosing your words.
If the conversation should take place over the phone or in a private message, it’s good practice to still leave a public comment about how to proceed so that others know your business did not ignore the complaint.
3. Thought Leadership
Some small businesses are also using social media to become the thought leaders in their industry. For instance, an electronics small business might post news and thoughts about the latest technologies related to their products. This provides a value to Facebook and Twitter followers, and can be an important part of customer service.
Sharing articles or news stories in which your small business is mentioned helps grow your brand, and is also a softer way to sell than pitching specific products to your social media friends.
Traditional advertising has its value for branding a small business, but social media allows you to connect on a more personal basis. Use these tools wisely, not only to pitch products and services, but also to engage with your audience in a way that makes them feel heard and answered.
Don’t take social media lightly – establish a posting and response time policy and stick to it!
Everyone who is posting for your small business should be familiar with how to use the sites and the kind of content you want to share.
Author Credits ::
Guest post contributed by Sarah Lagan on behalf of PaycomOnline.com – a website that provides an online payroll service. Sarah is a freelance writer with an extensive background in marketing and a social media.