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header marketing matters 9 14 18Where do you start with social media marketing? Then, what should be your social media objectives? Yes, the time is now for social media. Small businesses try to “play” in the social media world, but often do not know how to use social media as the outstanding tool that it can represent. What are the steps and what should be your objectives? … and, “no, you don’t have to use all the social media platforms to utilize the power of social media successfully.”

The first step in initiating a social media campaign is very simple—listen. Social media is where you can “listen” to what you customers are saying. This can be very powerful for knowing what your customers think of you and how to improve your business. If all you do is listen and work to improve from what you heard, then you have begun to capitalize on the power of social media. ….And to listen, is free. Have you read the reviews on your business? For each industry type, there are services that are offered to consumers to talk about their experiences. Whether it be Angie’s list, Yelp, Trip Advisor, or dozens of others, research your business and listen.

Next step after “listening” is to develop a list of objectives. Here are some objectives to consider:
• Listen and learn—Review what is being said regularly about your brand and your competitors. Being able to more clearly define your strengths and weaknesses, as well as your competitors, will provide valuable insight in how to position and market yourself.
• Build awareness—Establish relationships with different stakeholders (consumers, employees, investors, community, etc.) through conversations with them.
• Promote products and services—Get your customers to talk about your products and services using social media.
• Manage your reputation—Manage and improve your brand’s reputation by responding to comments that appear on forums and blogs. Don’t simply take a defensive stance that you know best and that customer was wrong in their assessment. Be careful as you address these issues in your comments.
• Improve customer service—When you experience complaints, seek out the customer and work toward resolving the issue.

Some research supports that the average business does not hear from 96% of unhappy customers. Furthermore, for every one complaint received, there are 24 people with unvoiced problems, six of which are serious. Greater than 90% who are dissatisfied with service or product will not come back to buy again. The average customer with a complaint will tell 9 to 10 people. Those who have complained and had a resolution tell 5 people. It is VERY important to “listen” and deal with customer dissatisfaction issues. Social media can help you to deal with these issues.

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