Ten years ago, few people would have predicted the role that social media plays in our lives today. We get our food recommendations from Yelp, we tell Twitter about our good (and bad) days, and we find new job opportunities on LinkedIn. But what if you’re still one of the holdouts that just doesn’t like to be constantly plugged into the data stream? Could it be bad for your business?
The short answer is, unfortunately, yes! The simple truth is that more people are using social media to learn about businesses and interact with them—leading to better engagement, or a missed opportunity. So if you fall into the segment of business owners who hate social media, it’s time to bite the bullet and do the bare minimum to make sure you’re not losing customers because of your online absence.
This is the best piece of advice for any small business owner, in any sector, anywhere in the world. Regardless of how much effort you’re prepared to put into your social media, the baseline is that you need to be reachable.
As part of the 14-step checklist for legitimizing your business, it’s recommended that you create a website for your venture. Going one step further, be sure to add your business profile to a few social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Even if you don’t maintain and frequently update these accounts, this extra layer of information will help you be findable on the worldwide web.
Pick your favorite channel and stick with it
Finally, some good news! After you’ve created accounts across a bevy of social media channels, you really only need to tend to one of them. In most cases, this will probably be Facebook, but your business’s situation might be better geared to another media.
Regardless of which network your choose to do your broadcasting on, you need to let the public know that this is the place to watch for updates. When you start posting, encourage your customers to turn notifications on for your business so that they never miss an update. Which conveniently brings us to the next point…
Post about important things
Here’s another win for people who hate social media: you don’t have to post that often! With the old adage less is more in mind, you don’t have to stress about posting every single day. Often, weekly updates will suffice.
That gives you a full six days between posts to ponder what you should share. Maybe you’ll let everyone know about an upcoming special you’re holding (with all the details, please). Maybe you’ll upload a picture of your newest staff member and their favorite classic rock n’ roll album so your customers can strike up a chat. Maybe it’ll be an article about how to write a business plan that you found especially helpful. Bottom line: don’t be afraid to share things that you think will resonate with potential customers.
Use it as customer care
According to a Sprout Social survey, 90% of customers have used social media to communicate directly with businesses. Even more interestingly, most people are more likely to use social media than phone or email to let a company know they’re having an issue. What’s that mean for you? It’s important to pay attention to how people are talking about you on social media!
In this world of instant downloads and cookies-on-demand, your customers won’t put up with being ignored on social media. This kind of customer care is probably the easiest to let fall by the wayside, but don’t let it. If you take just 10 minutes each morning to check your company’s social media profiles and answer any customer needs you see, you’ll be greatly rewarded in the long-run. Sound like too much of a pain? Then you’ll love the next idea…
Hire someone else to take care of it
Sometimes being a great leader means knowing when to delegate important tasks to someone else—and this is the perfect time to show off your leadership skills. Tapping one of your more tech-savvy employees to run your company’s social media is a great way to get your presence online.
When you’re going over their tasks, ask one of these hip youngsters to add social media upkeep to their weekly to-do list, informing you if anything important happens. This way, you’ll stay informed, and your business can stay relevant in social media, even while you’re on vacation.
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