How’s Your Social Media Strategy Working Out?
The hype over social media has died down over the past few years. Which is actually a good thing because we were completely inundated with articles touting the phenomenon and making it sound like any business that didn’t get with the programme would immediately go bankrupt and have to close its doors.
Despite all of these expert articles, many small, medium and large businesses didn’t leap onto the bandwagon and they didn’t seem to suffer for it.
And so the evidence proving social media’s importance started to arrive.
- Social media has been linked to the top performing Fortune 100 companies, with the very top performing companies actively participating in the social sphere.
- It’s been linked to higher profits and increased customer loyalty.
It is, by all accounts, one of the best things your company can do.
But there is one big challenge: the social media attitude
It’s been there since the beginning and it’s not going to go away. The challenge is to tackle social media with the right attitude: The right attitude comprising enthusiasm, patience and commitment.
Unfortunately, many businesses start with good intentions and then lose the plot after a few months. They find that it is simply too time consuming to keep their pages updated and to interact with visitors. Gradually they stop interacting and their social media presence fades away.
Challenge #2: Making a bad situation worse
Another problem, according to Matthew Peneycad (Social Media Today), is the negative comments that come a business’s way. Owners take all the negativity to heart, and then they lose heart.
This is like covering your eyes and hoping that no one will see you.
All you’ll do is increase frustration, which will result in even more (and even more venomous) comments. What’s more, the comments will not be reserved for your pages but will end up on personal blogs, personal timelines and possibly even customer service sites.
Every social media complaint is a marketing opportunity
The point is that you need to take the negativity to heart. Well, to a degree. You need to pay attention to complaints so that you can improve your service.
You should also not view a complaint as a single unhappy customer. For every person who takes the time to register a complaint, there are between 10 and 100 unhappy customers with exactly the same complaint, but who have elected to stew in relative silence. And by relative silence we mean that they do complain, but they keep it to their social circle. But, as their social circle is also likely to have various social media accounts, news of unhappiness quickly spreads.
You should view every complaint as a marketing opportunity. You can thank customers for their feedback and reassure them that you are taking steps to ensure that the problem never recurs. Nothing takes the wind out of indignant sails quite like a polite response.
It doesn’t stop there though. You really do have to take steps to ensure that the problem never recurs. You can’t expect to get away with lip service.
Alas, all of this does take time. Which brings us back to the first challenge.
- The truth is that using social media as a business does take time.
- It does take effort.
But, it’s far better to stick with it than to let it fall by the wayside!