Social media for small businesses: an online powerhouse with the potential to improve your reach, engagement, retention, and service. It’s a well-known and widely used tool, but using it isn’t always as easy as one-two-three.
Social media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you can use it to engage with your customers and grow knowledge of your brand. On the other hand, it can be poorly managed, upset your customers and even drive them away.
In fact, there are so many things you can do with social media that it’s easy for a few good practices to be forgotten. So, here are a few tips to help boost your social media efforts.
1. Have a dedicated customer service channel
Alongside your main brand channel, it can be beneficial to maintain a channel dedicated solely to customer service.
These pages will have different audiences. Your main channel is the one you use to engage with everyone. You use it to spread brand awareness, interact with new prospects and customers, and share great content. Your support channel, meanwhile, is directed solely at your existing customers. This distinction allows you to tailor your posts, updates and content accordingly.
With a dedicated support channel, you can keep customer support and update information directed at your current customers. For example, you need to post an update about a service outageor issue. With a dedicated support channel, such issues don’t appear on your brand feed.
Plus, an extra channel gives customers another place to interact with you. This boosts your accessibility and reachability, and so promotes brand trust.
2. Use sentiment analysis
When it comes to social media, it can be difficult to derive emotional meaningfrom online messages. The more mentions, comments and messages a business receives, the harder it can be to identify the tone of the words.
This is where automated sentiment analysishelps. It parses every mention and interaction on social media and identifies the sentiment behind each message. In other words, it tells you what messages are positive, which are negative, and which are neutral.
This allows you to respond appropriately and empathetically to every customer and every prospect. Empathetic responsesimprove the experience of interacting with your brand on social media. Good experiences on social media are more likely to be shared with others, which grows your brand awareness.
Using sentiment analysis with your social mediaalso gives you a view of the overall perception of your brand as your business grows.
3. Be reachable and responsive
The point of social media is to engage with your customers and present your human side. That means you need to be warm and active on all your social media accounts — not closed off and static.
This is achieved by engaging with your customers when they mention you. Take the time to reply to their comments, tags and questions. Responding quickly and professionally to mentions and questions means you put out sparks before they become fires.
A useful tool to help with this is automation software. When integrated with your social media, automation software can handle content sharing and updates. This gives you more time to focus on engaging socially with your customers and prospects.
By engaging with your customers, you also encourage sharing of your content, your brand page and your products. The more you can encourage conversation, the more likely your customers are to become advocates and share your brand with their friends and family.
Savvy on social media
Regardless of whether you have lots of mentions or few, social media is an important feather in your cap. It’s instrumental for businesses of all size for spreading brand awareness and meeting your customers where they are.
There’s a lot to be gained from being savvy on social media. So, what are you waiting for?
The SmallBizRising Blog is designed to be an educational content hub pulling information, best practices and practical advice for the small business owner and features topics including accounting, marketing, technology and more. Be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with new content as it is posted. The blog was created by The Neat Company and receives contributed content from a group of contributing companies that provide technology, services and solutions to small businesses.