Social Media is now the voice of the consumer.
Think about how social media platforms are set up. Members have circles or friends, or even followers in various personal to very public posting habits. Just the fact that someone is taking time to mention your place of business or event, they are promoting your brand. They say great, and not so great things about how we did. If we just listen, they tell us how to make our processes a little bit better. For some establishments, checking in there is like bragging to you friends.
How do I get started?
Open pages on every social media site that makes sense for your type of business. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ being the most common. Proactively promote the brand through your local place of business by posting basic branding on a weekly basis. Ensure you have a main point of contact for all incoming messages and likes.
What are your primary and secondary goals?
- Advertising – Many pages have thousands of followers they can reach.
- Customer Reviews – Good News spreads through social circles.
- Local Information – Helpful information for local customers.
- Leads – Sales Leads, Reservations, Appointments
- Events – Announcements – Live Music
- Loyalty Club – Contests
My advice is to start from the beginning. Search for yourself like a customer would. You will find who shows up in searches, then size them up. You will find that someone you compete with has 1500 or 3500 followers. Don’t get discouraged. With regular posting and being active by liking pages and communicating you will get there in no time.
Establishments that service the public can use good and not so good posts as training tools for your staff. Address them as helpful rather than complaints. Many times if you address the issue the poster will remove it if you ask. Getting as many staff members involved, the better.