Social media for small businesses – Part II
Someone posted a negative comment on my business’ social media page. Should I delete it?
No. Deleting negative comments does more harm than good. Instead, think about the most common customer complaints towards your business and develop a general response to each. If a negative post appears, take the appropriate general response and tailor it to specifically address the complaint. Additionally, get the conversation offline. Offer to resolve the issue through another medium; propose a direct customer service phone number or email to the unhappy customer. Finally, always respond promptly. Whether the complaint is real or imagined, an unanswered negative post signals poor customer service. If that same disgruntled person persists in posting negative comments, you may then delete or block the user.
I can’t spend my whole day on social media. How often do I have to post?
While you don’t need to post excessively, if you are taking the social media plunge, you must keep your Facebook page or Twitter handle active or risk losing your audience. At minimum, try to post once every couple of days. And there is help out there for the busy small-business owner. Sign up for a social media dashboard like HootSuite or TweetDeck. These sites allow you to plan out posts in advance. You can schedule your whole month to ensure you don’t have any significant gaps. Unless you have more than a handful of social media platforms, most of these dashboard sites are free. Just so you cover all your bases, there is even research on what time of day is best to post. Remember, stay on top of checking comments by others and responding promptly. Shoot for once per day.
How can I tell if social media is reaching customers?
If you’re going to invest serious time in social media, of course you want to see a payoff. If you are offering gift certificates and daily deals from a site like Yelp, you will see the evidence at the register. To track visitor activity on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, online monitoring tools make it easy to track your social media reach and effectiveness. Find out how many visitors, mentions, shares and followers you’ve gained. To track your progress over time, set the monitoring site to email you on a weekly and monthly basis. HootSuite, TweetDeck and Google Analytics all provide monitoring capabilities. Some features are free; additional measurements can be added for a monthly subscription fee. For a comparison of the more robust (and expensive) sites, start here.
Businesses use social media platforms for a variety of purposes. Whether you use your platforms to publicize events, entice customers with deals, handle customer service issues, or share photos and videos, take some time to learn about the different social media sites. Don’t be shy; check out other businesses. What do the best platforms look like both inside and outside your industry?
Every small business is unique. You want to give yourself the best road map, so do your homework and choose the most logical platform(s) for your business.
Looking for more resources? Here you go:
- The ROI of Social Media: 10 Case Studies
- 15 Case Studies to Get Your Client On Board With Social Media
- Top 5 Tips for Avoiding Social Media Fails
- What is HootSuite?
- What is the Best Time to Post on Social Media Sites?
Small Business Social Media
- Three Small Business Social Media Success Stories
- 9 Small Business Social Media Success Stories
- Some Small Businesses Slow to Social Media
- Social Media Training for the Social Entrepreneur
- Top 5 Facebook Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make
- 9 Top Hits for Small Business Marketing on Facebook
- Setting Up a Facebook Fan Page for Small Businesses
- Top Small Business Facebook Page Finalists
- Twitter for Small Business
- 5 Ways Your Business Should Use Twitter Hashtags
- 10 Things Small Businesses Should Know about Using Twitter
- Ask an Expert: Why Twitter is Great for Small Business
- Yelp Tips for Business Owners: Claim Your Profile and Engage
- Yelp Will Now Let Small Business Owners Sell Gift Certificates
- First Person: Yelp for Small Business
- How to Make Yelp Work for Small Business
- LinkedIn’s Timeless Guide to Small Business Success
- 5 Signs Your Business Should Be on LinkedIn
- It’s a Small Business World After All – How to Make More Money on LinkedIn
- A Guide to Pinterest for Small Business
- Small Business on Pinterest
- Pinterest: Why You Need These Six Add-On Tools
- Pinpointing Social Media Value – One Tweet is Worth 45 Pins
- Foursquare for Business
- Everything You Need to Know about Foursquare’s New Merchant Tools
- New Foursquare Feature Allows Businesses to Target Nearby Loyal Customers