Does Your Social Media Sign Read “Closed for Business”?

Market Research Based Insights

Many companies have extended their 9-to-5 business hours to 24/7 online. Yet, many of these businesses aren’t present on social media platforms where their prospects and customers spend a significant portion of their online time. According to recent research from the Yankee Group, employees at two out of three companies don’t have the appropriate tools to engage with their customers via social media platforms, which is the digital equivalent of hanging a closed sign on their retail door. To make this worse, 70% of consumers use social media to reach out to companies for expertise and roughly 60% of consumers are more loyal to companies that participate in social media.

7 Ways to enhance your firm’s social media presence

What can you do? Like a retail shop, you have to do more than just flip your sign from closed to open. You need to be prepared to greet and service people who enter your establishment, whether they buy or not. Here are seven factors to consider regarding taking steps to enhance your social media presence:

  1. Empower employees to participate on appropriate social media platforms.
  2. Give employees guidelines for social media interactions.
  3. Provide employees with sufficient information to engage with consumers and answer their questions.
  4. Think broadly about which employees should socialize with consumers (as well as suppliers, distributors and other business relevant entities). Don’t restrict social media access exclusively to marketing and customer service. Rather, include senior executives, product, operations, sales and others who ordinarily interact with consumers.
  5. Understand what your market is looking for in the social media space just as you would try to get a better grasp of what they’re looking for in your shop. Bear in mind that you’re entering their turf.
  6. Listen to what consumers are saying. What’s the sentiment of their interactions that mention your brand and products as well as that of your competitors? Can they help each other or do they want your input?
  7. Measure the impact of your company’s social media presence has made in terms of interactions, sentiment and sales. Also, it’s a good idea to track employee time and related costs.

Remember that it’s critical to be where your potential and current customers are so that you’re part of the purchase process once they’re ready to buy.

Does your firm have a “Sorry We Missed You” sign in the social media ecosystem? If so, what are your challenges? If not, what hurdles have you overcome and what insights can you provide? Please add your comments below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Photo credit: Jasoon via Flickr

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