Social media provides any business with a new and exciting means of reaching out to their customers in proactive ways. With this revolutionary form of public relations, you can tackle problems as soon as they arise, keep tabs on your online reputation and touch base with your loyal fans.
Use Social Media as a Support System
You can utilize social media platforms as an early warning system for negative feedback. For instance, with Twitter’s search function, located at search.twitter.com, you can find tweets that contain your business’s name, in conjunction with any keyword you choose. With this simple tool, you can keep tabs on your business’s online reputation. Other platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn provide similar tools that you can glean important information from.
Address Customer Questions and Concerns with Social Media
One of the main benefits of social media for the business owner is that it provides an easy and fast way to get in touch with potential customers and loyal fans alike. With social media, you can address customer comments, complaints and questions right away. This is an important aspect of quality customer service. You should always strive to address any concerns that your customers have immediately.
When you address customer issues or merely answer casual questions right away, you encourage communication and feedback. This rapid word-of-mouth generation will go a long way in securing your brand as a strong online presence.
Use Social Media to Join In on the Conversation
Social Media is your secret weapon when it comes to interjecting your company into relevant conversations. With Twitter, for instance, you can follow influential entities in your industry, retweeting or commenting on their tweets. Use hash tags to make your tweets specific to a given topic, and address other entities specifically with the “@” symbol. Gain some social media karma by retweeting quality tweets that are relevant to your industry.
Similarly, you can use the explosion of popularity in blogging to your advantage by offering to guest blog for industry-leading blogs. You should also strive to include in your own blog any materials that may be inappropriate for press releases, such as on-topic personal anecdotes from key staff members. Anything that makes your company appear more personable can go over very well on social media platforms.
Use Social Media to Create Personality
In a similar vein; you can use social media as a whole to enliven your corporate identity. Don’t fill your Twitter feed with promotional materials. Instead, allow your staff to post relevant, witty tweets more often. Let your potential customers know that you are more than a corporate entity, and that you can be trusted.
Social media may be the biggest boon to business since the introduction of the Internet itself. To stay in step with your competition, you should incorporate social media in your day-to-day PR campaign, and the sooner the better. If you ignore this vital tool, you risk alienating your customers and giving up-and-coming businesses a leg up.
About the Author: This is a blog post by Lizzy Thomson; a blogger and researcher for PR Agency One – specialists in education PR. She writes about all things related to technology, social media and online marketing.