Posted by: Kim Groseclose
Using social media for your business is no longer an option, it’s something all businesses need to do on an ongoing basis. Social media is now a tool for doing business just like the telephone, email, and newspaper ads.
Identifying your business goals is the first step to using social media effectively. Do you want to gain exposure, retain existing customers, ease customer-service bottlenecks, or all of the above? One thing that is very important to remember about social media when deciding what your social media goals are is this: social media cannot turn around or save a business that is already having problems.
What social media does do is amplify things already happening in your business. A good reputation can be enhanced with social media by giving your customers a place to share stories about your great customer service, your wonderful product selection, or whatever it is that your business is known for.
Some business owners may be afraid to launch a social media presence for fear of someone saying bad things about your business. The thing to remember is that if bad things or complaints are being posted, an active Facebook or Twitter page is a great place to address those concerns, and hopefully clear them up once and for all.
Customer service is a great way to use social media. Use it to post answers to FAQs, answer questions about your business hours or products you carry. Facebook and Twitter are both excellent venues for those kinds of posts.
One great thing about social media is that it can set you up as an “expert resource” on topics relevant to your industry. Post short tutorials on Facebook, or use your Twitter account to engage in conversations with others in your industry about relevant topics. Post short, clear videos on You Tube on how to choose a paintbrush or application tool, or how to correctly prep a room for painting – the topics are almost endless. Great pictures of decorating ideas posted on Pinterest will be shared again and again. This type of social media can be a great way to gain new customers.
Using social media is a great way to enhance your reputation, address customer service issues, or gain exposure to new customers. It comes with a cost, however; mostly in time spent to write posts, create videos, and post pictures. Remember that time not spent on social media could be an opportunity lost, especially if your competition is using social media effectively.