Our use of Social Media is maturing. Users expect to access relevant information at their fingertips 24/7 however managing various Social media platforms can be a tedious and confronting process. Being a real time way of communicating with customers and having them engage in conversation with you makes time a priority and if responses are missed or updates inconsistent, this can hinder a firms online presence instead of producing something of value. Apart from the time and financial deterrents from utilizing social media, business owners are aware that social media opens up channels for negative feedback, allowing informed and uninformed opinions associated with their business to be made public.
If you are one of the business owners I descibed above – keep reading!
Return on Investment
How much have you spent on newspaper advertisements, radio commercials or other forms of traditional media? Have you got the results you were hoping for? In comparison, Social Media is generally very cheap to produce. Accounts and pages are free on many platforms and as the Quartz graph above demonstrates, the increase in use over the past 5 years. As the participants of social media increase, so do the opportunities for your brand to convert more participants into customers and to create ROI. This can be achieved through strategy and conviction but most importantly, listening.
Business owners know about the negative impact of social media and many have suffered the wrath of a negative comment online. How did you handle it? Research has shown that people who have had a great service experience would be happy to share that with 5 other people however people who’ve had a bad experienced are more inclined to share – the study shows on average 18.5 people were told in this case. While these statistics prove that a customers intention for review will be negative more often than reviewing for positive reasons and this feedback opens up an opportunity for a wrong to be righted. Channelling social media as a tool for communication means both listening and responding. You can gain so much insight from speaking with customers and if you’re not learning from the feedback you’re given – you’re restricting the growth potential for your business. Having the ability to respond to this feedback is just as important. You’re not having a one-on-one conversation on social media, you are inviting the world to view the discussion and it’s important that your firm is presented in a positive light.
Time Saving Tips
Time is money and for a jack of all trades business owner. The time taken to engage on social media is lower down the priority list than tasks like checking stock, managing employee’s and paying suppliers. Having your attention drawn in so many directions is a daunting task. What so many business owners don’t understand is the way that social media can be automated. Scheduling a time in your day, each day to respond to posts and generate a strategey will turn this procedure into a routine. The tasks will become a natural instinct rather than being a timely inconvenience and with scheduling; you’ll develop a more consistent and valued presence online. Tools like Hootsuite can be utlised to schedule posts so if you know you aren’t going to have time during the week, you can set up posts to last a week, or even longer!
Time, money and negative opinions are all challenges faced by not only business owners, even marketers in the social space. To reap the rewards of social media, it’s integral that businesses plan and are willing to commit a consistent effort or find someone who will!