Social media certainly isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus numbers continue to rise and MySpace is preparing itself for its comeback. These sites are a part of most people’s lives now and in turn businesses have had to adapt. Countless companies now represent themselves in this way and, when its done right, it can be extremely beneficial to them. You should be incorporating it into your online marketing strategy for a number of reasons.
First of all, it makes you more accessible to your customers. It gives them a further way to get in contact with you if they have an issue that needs resolving. This means you can deal with more complaints better. Another turn on that is that whereas people don’t really want to send letters telling you how great your company is, they can be bothered to do it on your Facebook wall or your Twitter feed. It takes them two seconds, but looks great for you as it is automatically visible to everyone. It is also a great way to get authentic and provable positive testimonials (a good idea for Twitter is to favourite every compliment you get so that you have them all stored in one place ready for use).
With better access come the chance to offer better customer service too. With a Facebook you can respond quickly and publicly and make the customer feel like they are being listened to. No one likes calling up call centres as they can often be time consuming. Facebook (or Twitter or whatever) is a much speedier option. As long as you keep on top of it, you’ll find you will be able to change unhappy people into smiling ones very easily.
Using social media also makes the company feel more human to customers. This is great to boost people’s opinion of your business. If it feels like there is a person to communicate who genuinely cares about their issue (or compliment!) then you are more likely to increase brand loyalty which is hugely important.
Social media also offers some great ways to get free publicity and increase your reputation. Either through interesting competitions or funny replies, you can make even the biggest companies look like fun-loving people you want to hang out with at the bar. An excellent example is when a person named Thomas Cook complained to his namesake that he had always been bullied for his name. His request for some compensation was pleasantly refused. So, what happened next? In swooped LowCostHolidays offering a free holiday and in return gaining amazing press you just cannot buy. This sort of thing wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago.
It pays to remember that everything you do on social media sites is visible to the public. This means everything you do on there is part of internet marketing and should be considered so. Keep strong control on your pages and if you use them effectively, you will reap some superb benefits.