Getting your small business to take off can be difficult as it is to get heard in the massive noise that is the overcrowded internet. Millions of businesses and websites are out there competing for a slice of the cake, so how can a start-up get heard by the people who matter?
No matter how small or new your business might be, having an online presence is necessary in this day and age. Social media has made it easier for small businesses to compete with the big guys. If there is one thing the entire advertising budget in the world canít repress, itís genuine customer feedback. Thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and social media, every consumer-facing business is just a couple of clicks away from receiving a rave review or an ill-tempered rant on a social sharing site.
Donít look so glum. Your customers can actually do the work for you and spread good news about your brand or business! How? By offering them incentives. Small rewards, such as a free drink with a meal or a discount voucher every time they "check-in" to your business online or tweet using your chosen hashtag, always do the trick.
Something as simple as an email, a Facebook post, or a tweet prompting your customers to write a review for future customers could be all that is needed. It all sounds so easy, but of course, you need to make sure your product or service is of good and decent quality to ensure positive feedback - the one golden rule of business that hasn't changed and wonít be changing anytime soon. Remember that a business relationship is no different from any other relationship; you canít afford to take your customers for granted.
Social media can be beneficial to your business, but you have to be aware that it also carries risk. Having an online presence means that customers can engage with your business like never before, and that entails both good and bad feedback.
Feedback you receive from a social media outlet is there for all to see, so itís important to be quick and sympathetic with your responses. Let your customers know you are listening to their concerns by acknowledging them and addressing the problem in a meaningful way. It could be in some form of compensation or a simple apology and explanation.
Social media is a wonderful tool to building a successful business. It just needs to be carefully monitored to make sure your business can turn even the worst feedback to your advantage.