Social media has become a cornerstone of modern communication. Between Facebook reviews, Instagram filters, and Twitter marketing, it can be difficult to find a place for your business in an ever-evolving environment. And even when you do get involved, it can be difficult to judge if your presence is making a difference or if it’s, in fact, driving customers away. Here are a few reasons your business could be suffering online and how to fix them.
1. You don’t use social media at all. Content is what grabs new customers and keeps old customers coming back. You don’t have to have an account on every social media and blog site out there, not by any means, but you should be available and present on at least the big names that a wide range of audiences use like Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Maintaining a few steady accounts will reassure customers that you’re a professional, current business keeping up with the times.
2. You have a few online accounts but don’t keep them active. In some ways, having a page that was last updated in June 2009 is worse than having no social media at all. Leaving up old, outdated posts or pages and not upkeeping them puts forth the image that you don’t care, can’t be bothered, or are just plain unorganized. A steady stream of content doesn’t even have to mean posting every day, it just means staying active on a weekly basis, responding quickly to replies, and getting involved in the online community.
3. You’re not responding to customer queries. Sites that have reviews like Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook all have the option for business owners to respond to reviews, positive and negative alike. Social media can be a powerful outreach program if you let it. All you have to do is create an account, go through the verification process to respond as the owner, and you’re all set to interact. Letting reviews sit is impersonal and a wasted opportunity to get to know your customers.
4. You’re not handling negative reviews professionally. Criticism, especially if perceived unjust or unfair, can be hard to swallow at times, but is a necessary aspect of any business. Everyone makes mistakes and chances are, this will happen at some point, even if you follow every rule in the book. Social media can be a powerful communication tool, but the distance it provides can also be a dangerous excuse to say things you might not usually be comfortable with face-to-face. Leaving negative reviews to sit might be an easy way to tackle them, but this makes it look like you’re sweeping the bad experience under the rug instead of facing the issue. When responding, professionalism is of the utmost importance. Keep calm, offer compensation for their complaint, and get a second opinion from someone not involved in the situation before posting.
Always remember that everything you post (or don’t post) is visible to the public. Stay professional, casual, and keep up to date in the online world. Social media is a powerful and effective tool to draw customers to your business as long as you know how to use it the right way.