If you google “social media” today you will find over 1.3 billion results! Another crazy statistic I heard at a recent Salesforce event is that 90% of the world’s data has been produced in the last 12 months! The availability of data, reviews, content and information has moved from word of mouth within a community to someone in Germany reading about a post relating to a Melbourne coffee shop instantaneously – this can be scary or exciting but cannot be avoided any further.
If you are in business, you are also have customers and by default your business is active on the web whether you like it or not. By extension, whether you like it or you are active on social media – but is it controlling you or you controlling it! Social media is defined as “websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking” (Google, 2015).
The challenge for many businesses is their people are personally active on social media, their customers are active on social media but at any moment a poor customer review or disgruntled employee post can go viral and your business reputation can be in serious trouble.
So, what do you do about it? Here a five simple tips to get hold:
- Learn the basics – what’s the difference between Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for example and when would you use one over the other?
- Set up your own accounts – your first stop is your webpage, but then register your business in at least the top 5 applications so that you own your businesses domain name / username / page name – if your business name is gone you have two choices – try to buy the original (NB: this is often very expensive so consider carefully!) or create a unique version of your business name that your customers can still find.
- Get in first – the more positive content, recommendations and testimonials you collect and publish the more believable you are – people believe other people, fact.
- Respond to negative feedback – a polite but refuting response is better than letting a negative post hanging out in the wind. Be careful to respond politely but firmly with facts – if you sound angry it looks worse than the original post.
- Leverage your workforce – your business has an untapped network of potential advocates working for you. Put together a strategy and get your people involved – this can be a scary step and not to be taken lightly but with clear guidelines and an expert guiding you, you can tame the social media beast and turn your strategy into commercial results.
To talk to our social media and communication experts and embrace your social media identity email us at [email protected] or phone 03 9662 9900.