This one thing will lose you customers on social media
You know what I’m talking about because it’s happened to you.
You follow a business on social media, say, a bakery. Maybe you’ve never been there, maybe you’re a regular customer, maybe it’s somewhere in between.
One day they post a photo of a lovely fondant covered cake with special decorations. You think, wow, that would be perfect for my mom’s birthday. So you respond “that’s amazing! how much would a cake like that cost?”
Nothing, nada, no response. Now how do you feel about that business?
If you aren’t going to respond to your customers’ inquiries on a social media account, don’t use that service. (tweet this)
It’s that simple, really. It is hurting your business and your reputation every time you leave someone hanging.
Let’s put this in perspective. A recent study found “when customers try to engage with businesses online, they are ignored anywhere from 72% to 89% of the time.” Wow! Do you ignore 75% of the phone calls and emails to your business? I bet you don’t.
How do I keep up with my social media accounts?
I know how it happens. As a small business owner, you are trying to save time. Maybe you have Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. And to save time, you only post to Instagram and send the post automatically to the other accounts. Then you never look at the other accounts.
There are a number of ways you can keep on top of this.
- Do you have a smart phone? If so, log on to the services you use with the business account and have push notifications sent to you. You’ll get an alert on your phone when someone interacts with a post.
- Is that too distracting? Instead of push notifications, get email alerts when someone interacts with a post instead.
- Still too distracting? Set an alarm once a day at a time that’s usually convenient for you and check your social media accounts manually at that time.
Sure, ideally you would react to questions as quickly as possible, especially fast-paced services like Twitter. However, responding once a day is much, much better than never.
If you know you are only going to check your social media accounts once a day, for example, why not put that in your profile? At least your customer may see that and adjust their expectations.
How do I do it?
Well, personally I nerd out and do many different things:
- I have push notifications sent to my phone. This is my main line of defense. I also turn these notifications off when I’ll be sleeping. It’s not THAT important.
- I have a search column set up in Hootsuite for mentions of our business. I look at that when I think about it, usually once a day.
- I also have an alert set up with mention.net. It arrives by email once a day.
- From the Department of Redundancy Department, I also have Google Alerts set up.
- In Instagram, I view the hashtag of our business name, usually every day or so. People will often use that rather than checking in or @-ing you.
Social media can be rewarding to your business if you keep up with it and it might well be damaging if you don’t. If you aren’t sure you can handle it, start slow, maybe with just one account, and see how that goes.
What is your biggest frustration as a small business trying to manage customers on social media? Let us know in the comments.