Consumer word-of-mouth advertising now has a huge electronic megaphone, thanks to social media. In rapidly increasing numbers, consumers are communicating their opinions about businesses
by means of social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and Yelp. In other words, loyal customers have a huge platform for expressing their delight; likewise, dissatisfied customers have that same stage to express their complaints.
How exactly does a wise business owner parlay this change in the advertising landscape into a tremendous advantage?
A good first step is to learn what customers care about. Tap into the online conversation for relevant dialogue. This can be a time-consuming process. So you may want to hire a reputation management company, which can do the research for you and provide summary reports.
Equipped with a feel for how social media works, get involved by registering with social media sites. Then begin the ongoing task of actively communicating with customers. Some ways to get involved are:
- Thank a customer for a positive review
- Respond to a bad review
- Invite customers to write reviews about your business
- Offer to reward customers for online referrals
- Announce sales and available discounts
Another available route for busy business owners is to invest in self-serve or managed online products that simplify the process of getting involved with social media.
Social media is just one piece of the marketing puzzle, but it is hastily becoming a fundamental method of advertising. This new multiplication of word-of-mouth referrals can be an incredible boon for small businesses.