In a day and age when social media is all the rage, just how many companies really take the time to both listen and engage with their current and potential customers?
For those not taking part in such an exercise, much goodwill and in fact business can be lost in a short amount of time.
Given the fact that more and more consumers are using the Internet to search for products and services, and in fact, make more purchases than ever before, it only makes sense for companies to utilize social media in order to have real-time conversations with the people who impact their return on investment (ROI).
In the event your company is still having some misgivings about utilizing social media to interact in real-time with consumers, take these items to mind:
- Time is of the essence – In today’s world where individuals want today’s deliveries and news yesterday, interacting with consumers through social media provides you with real-time access. Instead of waiting and hoping that your competition doesn’t use its social media tools to beat you to the punch, take the initiative to query your customers via social media. Engage them with questions regarding your products and services, what they like and do not like, how you can improve your brand and so on;
- Putting out fires – It just takes one negative comment about your business, true or not, to spread like wildfire. By having a social media game plan in place, you can douse those flames and negate some serious problems. Whether it is via Twitter, Facebook or other social networking sites, individuals can post comments regarding your products, your customer service and your brand in general. Negative comments obviously do the most damage, but retweeting and sharing positive comments on your company’s Twitter and Facebook accounts can go a long way too;
- Staying in tune with the competition – Having your ear to the ground on social media sites also allows your company to monitor with the competition is up to. More and more companies are using social media tools to interact with their customers, provide them with deals, offer them relevant information etc. By turning a deaf ear to social media, you not only lose out in reaching these customers, but your competition reaps the benefits;
- Lead the way to new business – Being on sites like Facebook and Twitter allows your business the opportunity to open up new doors to business. When you place links in your posts and use Twitter hashtags for example, you expose your company to more eyes, likely leading to more interest in your products and/or services;
- Networking opportunities are endless – By having a formidable social media plan in place, your company can not only network directly with current customers, but you have the potential to reach out to potential customers, be they friends, family, co-workers etc. of your present customers. Say you are in the restaurant industry and a local media outlet just did a shining review on your eatery. Utilize social media to push that story out to the world. If one of your customers is happy with the product and services you provide, it just takes them a hit on the mouse to send the story to others, thereby allowing you to get your foot in the door to another potential customer.
If your company is still dragging its feet when it comes to social media and engaging and more importantly listening to the customer, you could find your ROI impacted in more ways than one.
Dave Thomas writes extensively for B2b lead generation online resource Resource Nation that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs. He is an expert writer on items like credit card processing companies and is based in San Diego, California.