How do you keep track of your company’s social media presence?
If you don’t remember the last time you saw – much less opened – a Yellow Pages phone directory, you already know the power of the internet to revolutionize how we find information.
While we all know that internet search engines have replaced the Yellow Pages as our tool for finding a business’ contact information, many retailers still don’t fully appreciate the value of social media on their reputations. After all, whether you know it or not, your business is on social media.
Check your basic business listings
One of the first things a small business must check is the most basic – your business listing. A study by searchengineland.com found that 73 percent of consumers lose trust in a business when its online information is incorrect. While maintaining up-to-date business listings seems easily doable, today’s consumers expect more information than the basics about a business, especially one that’s new to them.
What about reviews?
Word-of-mouth recommendations have always been a powerful source of persuasion. Family, friends and beyond can make it far more likely that someone chooses or doesn’t choose a particular company or service. Add the internet to the process and word-of-mouth can instantly reach anyone with an internet connection. While studies in the past showed that consumers with a negative experience told 10 or more people about it on average, that was still relatively contained. Now, a negative experience can spread through one’s trading area like wildfire. And seventy percent of Internet users trust those recommendations, according to an Accenture study. Meanwhile, Brightlocal found that 87 percent of consumers won’t consider a business if it has a low rating on a review service.
Unfortunately, many small businesses lack resources to keep up with what’s going on on social media. And that can cost them business. A Harvard Business School study found that 1-star increase in a business’ online rating was associated with a five to nine percent increase in revenue.
Tools for keeping up with your social media presence
Fortunately, aggregators are now making it possible for businesses with limited resources to track their social media presence efficiently and effectively. The best tools:
- Aggregate all reviews in one location
- Aggregate numbers of likes (e.g., Facebook) and followers (e.g., Instagram, Twitter) in one location
- Enable business owners to schedule social media messages in one place
- Update reviews in real time, which allows the business owner to act quickly to calm an angry customer or thank a satisfied one
- Provide an average rating (e.g., stars and a number) and a trend indicator – up, down or flat
Source: FIS SMB Digital Marketing Platform
Taking Control of Your Social Media Presence
If you want to optimize your social media presence:
- Be aware that you must manage your social media presence actively, or it will manage you.
- Make sure that you adopt a tool that helps you manage social media in the most efficient way. For example, find a partner with a tool that enables you to sit down for 15 minutes with your coffee or tea and look through your dashboard and reviews daily.
- Deal with negative comments quickly. As a consumer reading a negative review, the first thing I do is look to see if and how the business has responded. People make mistakes, but if the business responds in a genuine, positive and immediate way, it can turn negative word-of-mouth into a positive.