Updated: May 3
Social media is an essential part of your business. Whether you want it to be or not. It’s how customers find out more about what your business does, who you are and why they need your products or services. It is how customers feel connected and invested in your business which is important to them using or buying your business’ products or services.
But how do you make sure that what you are putting on social media is really reaching anyone? How do you get people to comment or share your business’ posts? And what do you do when you get a negative comment?
Social media is a tricky beast and it seems to be constantly changing, but there are a few key tips to know to make sure the time you spend promoting your business on social media is worth it.
What is your goal?
Have a defined goal of what your social media will do for you. What do you want your social media presence to do for your business? Do you want it to build brand awareness? Increase traffic to your website? Generate sales?
By knowing exactly what you want your social media presence to do for your business, you can begin to craft your message around it. If you want to increase traffic to your website, then you can create social media messages with specific images and pages from your website and include links to your websites in every message.
The idea of this may make you groan, but it is important for businesses to post on social media at least three times a week. Ideally posting daily would be even better. The more your posts get in front of potential customers, the more you are likely to get business from those potential customers.
Posts do not have to be long, but for the most part they should stick to your goal. Spend an afternoon and create 50 to 100 posts that you can pull from if necessary to make sure you have something on hand and don’t have to come up with something every day or two.
When your business does post on social media you want it to actually be seen right? You put the work in to post, now the interweb needs to do its thing and people need to see it! In order to get your posts seen on social media you have to craft them in a way they can be liked and shared. Stay on your message of course, but if you can, make it emotional, make it personal, or find some way to connect to your potential customers and friends on Facebook or Instagram. This will make them want to like your post, share your post and/or comment on your post. The more likes, shares and comments you have, the better!
Ideally, time your posts for the early afternoon on weekdays. This will give them the best chance of being seen by the most number of people. Weekends are not a good time for new posts.
What if it’s bad
With social media, you have to take the good with the bad. The good is getting your products and services out there, talking your business up and showcasing everything positive your business can do or does for customers. The bad is the time it takes, the constant upkeep and the potential for bad comments or reviews.
Yes, bad reviews and comments are going to happen. A dissatisfied customer comments on their experience, or worse attempts to dissuade others from your business. What can you do? Do you ignore it? Do you respond? If you do respond, how do you respond?
Respond quickly - the longer the negative comment sits out there on the interweb, the more viewers it may have. Time can equal an admission of wrongdoing in some people’s minds, so respond to the negative comment or review quickly.
Be sincere - apologize to the person who made the comment and be sincere. The old adage goes “the customer is always right.” Be polite. It is not fun to eat a little crow, but you have to put the sake of your business above your own ego.
Take it offline - if the matter is serious or you are just not wanting the back and forth comments in public view, invite the customers to email you personally, take the chat to a messenger program or ask them to give you a call. It shows you are taking the matter seriously, but also keep the issue between you and a single customer, not the entire internet.
Take a beat - while it is important to respond quickly, there is quickly and there is too quickly. Take a breath and don’t respond in haste. Write out your response on paper first and read it over several times before you respond. The negative comment may have made you incredibly hot under the collar, but that should not come through at all in your response.
Use humor - humor is a great way to break the tension, lighten up the conversation and show your business does not take itself too seriously. It is not applicable to all negative comments but showing that you can make fun of yourself a little goes a long way with customers. Even if it doesn’t change anything for the original poster, it will show all others who are reading the comments that your business can take a hit and come out smiling.
Don’t delete - it may be very tempting to just delete the negative comment or review, but don’t. The person who made the post will notice (and probably others as well) and wonder what your business is trying to hide. So don’t delete the post, but don't ignore it either. That can also be suspicious.
Social media may not be easy, but it is incredibly necessary, especially to Millennials and Gen. Z. They gather much of their information about businesses through social media. So embrace it! If you have been fighting posting on social media, get over it! Or find someone in your business who enjoys social media and hand the responsibility over to them. (Be sure to be clear on what you want your business’ message to be.) Or, if you don’t have time, and no one else in the business has the time (or desire) outsource your social media. No one except you will know that someone else is posting and responding on your business’ social media.
We live in a digital world - whether we like it or not. Keeping up on social media, is just one aspect of your business’ digital presence, but is an extremely important one. By making your business known on social media, you are helping to ensure the success of your business.
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