A lot more people are spending so much time on social media; that’s why it’s not surprising that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, even Pinterest have become default tools when marketing a business. In a way, it’s now impossible for your target audience to know about your brand unless you go full-on social media savvy. But just like any other platform, there are wins and losses. It’s up to you to use everything to your advantage.
There’s absolutely a lot of wins for your brand image when you go into social media. As mentioned, you’re able to make yourself more visible to your audience. In the past, you had to buy a spot on television shows or newspapers. Now, you can create your own Facebook page and populate it with appealing content. But more than brand recognition, you’ll also find audiences engaging with you. They’ll like (or love) photos of your mouth-watering burgers and pasta or comment on that beautiful designer bag or diamond. You can quickly turn those leads into conversions. You have to take note of appealing content. If your photos and stories in captions aren’t resonating with your audience, it will be hard to grow a following, let alone convert fans into customers. So if you can allow a budget for professional food or jewelry photo-retouching services, go for it. It will be an investment that yields returns.
Likes, comments, and inquiries can turn into sales, but they can also be a publicity nightmare. People can put nasty comments on your posts, sharing their horrible experience of a product you sell or criticizing your brand altogether. They can rate you low in the review section. Collectively, those 1-star reviews will affect the buying decisions of other people visiting your page. What many businesses fail to establish when going social is their response mechanism in these situations. It’s never a good idea to just let nasty comments simmer in your page. You must have a policy in place on how you can address them. One of the effective ways to control this negative aspect of social media is to respond to comments publicly and then deal with complaints privately. Public comments let people know that you’re dealing with the situation. Private messages discuss the unique concerns of customers. The bottom line is, never let one bad comment turn into a publicity freakshow.
The ugly side of social media manifests when the very people inside the business are the ones tainting the brand image online. When people inside aren’t happy, how can people outside be enticed to do business with you? For sure, you’ve heard of consumer boycott stories sparked by an employee ranting on Twitter or Facebook or one inadvertently sharing confidential information. Such movements can quickly become a full-on campaign against your brand. So don’t let ill-advised comments of employees ruin your reputation and relationship with customers. Create an internal social media policy where employees will know where to turn to when they want to air grievances. Make sure to have controls as well when it comes to accessing confidential information. Finally, have a credible spokesperson who will respond online about employee complaints.
In the end, social media has rewards and trade-offs. Nonetheless, you can harness it to your advantage by multiplying the wins and addressing the losses immediately.