Social Media: Business Friend Or Foe?
Is social media a business friend that can bring in more customers or is it a foe you should fear? The answer to that question is complicated. See why below.
Think Of Social Media Sites As Party Sites.
People use sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, InstaGram and YouTube to see what their friends are up to, to make new friends and to have fun. They do not use these sites in the hopes that you will sell them something.
People regularly use social media to share their opinions about the businesses that they frequent and these opinions may or may not include pictures or video.
Unfortunately, most business owners do not know that these third-party reviews exist and if they are aware of them many do not know how to properly respond appropriately or at all.
A recent survey revealed that 78% of the people that responded to the survey stated that they the third-party reviews left on directory sites and social media sites as much as they do recommendations from friends and family.
Social Media As A Friend
If you have taken the time to develop a five star culture within your business, your customers may be more inclined to share their positive experiences with their friends and family.
Prior to the invention of the Internet and smart phones this word-of-mouth advertising was done over the back fence, by telephone and in local gathering places like coffee shops, hair salons and similar establishments.
Today, text messages, tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos and images posted on sites like Pinterest or InstaGram are the ways your customers expressed their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with your business.
In the old days, it could take days for a less than ideal experience to be shared everywhere in a small community. Today, however, a negative experience could be transmitted throughout the world in a matter of hours.
As a business owner, you are too busy running your business to effectively monitor what’s happening online that could be affecting your business. For this reason, you need to have an expert in your corner if you really want your business to grow and prosper.
Social Media As A Foe
Social media can hurt or even destroy your business if you have a large number of negative reviews that aren’t appropriately addressed by your business.
The article titled Restaurant learns online reviews can make or break that Yahoo posted talks about what happened to a restaurant when they let their egos get in the way of good business.
These business owners let their bad reviews grow for years then they accepted an invitation to be on the reality TV show Kitchen Nightmares where they ignored the advice of chef Gordon Ramsey.
Their next misstep was a rant on Facebook against customers that had left negative reviews about their business.
The firestorm this created brought out a claim their social media accounts had been hacked.
Bad reviews may or may not be warranted but you should never lose your professionalism and get into a public debate because you’ll never win or look good.
Even if they’re wrong, your customers will influence the decisions made by others unless you post professional and appropriate responses in a timely manner.
Leave your thoughts below or contact us if you are ready for a professional evaluation of your business.
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