For many business owners, social media is a scary thing. So much information is disseminated in way too many platforms that continually change in popularity. It seems that just about the time a business owner learns one platform, their demographic moves on to another. Perhaps one of the scariest aspects of social media is the lightning speed with which opinions are shared and reputations are either made or destroyed, not necessarily by expert postings but in the comments made on those postings. Social media cannot be ignored any longer. It now needs to be considered as one of the most important marketing and customer service tools of any business.
A simple visit to a company’s website speaks volumes to a consumer, especially if a blog isn’t current. The consumer may wonder if the company is still in business. How quickly a company responds to Facebook questions is perceived as how dedicated the company is to customer service, including if it replies after normal business hours.
The simple perception of whether a company is media-savvy can affect a consumer’s perception about whether the company is “on top of your game” or just getting by. But understanding each social media platform, its strengths and weaknesses, demographics, limitations and continuously monitoring that information along with running a business can be a handful. Add to that mix the managing of all the posts that need to be written, posted and responses to those posts monitored, and the return on investment may seem questionable.
The benefits of a strong social media presence and campaign are proven. That same lightning speed with which opinions are shared can be used to engage customers in offering feedback which can lead to client and brand loyalty. Social media can be used to counter negative public perception, build goodwill in the community, and generate thousands of sales leads in hours if done correctly.
So how do you manage all this and use it to your advantage? If you’re not social media savvy, consider consulting with someone who is. Even if you are social media savvy, consider consulting with someone who is. What is the value of your time in front of your customer versus sitting in your office writing posts and answering questions online? What is the value of having someone who can tell you which platform your demographic is using currently and when that trends starts to change? And finally, what is the value to you to sleep at night knowing someone else is worrying about all this for you? The return on your investment is priceless.
Ronnie Roll has started several businesses from the "I Have An Idea" stage to grand openings and beyond. Her passion is helping others achieve their dreams, and her art mediums are business modeling and food.