As we told you in our recent blog, Understanding Social Media Marketing, there are two main strategies for using social media to sell your products or services: active and passive. Passive marketing, which we’ll discuss here, is the interactive feedback you obtain from your customers and potential customers.
Due to the wonders of social media, companies no longer have to wait passively for feedback or pay for surveys; it’s available instantly and for free. This allows you to adjust your product or service to respond to negative comments or to revise your ad campaign to highlight different features or appeal to a different audience segment.
The information available to you on social media is invaluable. So here are three ways to capitalize on the mountains of marketing information your customers are providing you for free.
The worst thing you can do on whatever social media platforms you choose to use is to ignore responses from your audience, especially if they’re from unhappy customers. You should also be looking for any positive comments. Unfortunately, these are likely to be fewer than the negative comments, simply because most people are moved more to complain than to praise.
If you’ve taken our previous suggestions (How To Find Your Customers On Social Media) to limit the number of social media sites you focus on, it should not be an overwhelming task to monitor posts and comments dealing with your business. But like any other chore necessary to support your business, you need to make time to listen to your customers. If you block out a half-hour or an hour a day for this purpose, it will be well worth your while. And just think: You don’t even have to conduct surveys or hold focus groups to find out what your customers think of you!
Just because someone says something about you doesn’t mean you have to take it to heart. You’re a business person, and—as with any other aspect of your business—you need to measure and evaluate social media feedback, and try to categorize it into data you can use.
You not only have to monitor the original comment, but follow-on comments as well. Do other customers support the original complaint, or counter it? Does the complaint seem to come from one disgruntled customer, or is there a common thread to complaints about your product or service?
For instance, if a patient tweets that Dr. Smith always makes him wait for at least a half-hour after a scheduled appointment, do others chime in with toppers: “It’s usually an hour for my visits.” “I waited for an hour-and-a-half once.” Or do the majority of respondents refute the original tweet: “I’ve never waited more than 15 minutes.” “If Dr. Smith is running late, the receptionist always texts me ahead of time.”
Once you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll be able to better discern patterns, and decide whether you need to take action in response to complaints. In our example above, if your patients often seem to complain about being kept waiting, you could either space out your appointments better or have your receptionist alert patients that you’re running late.
Whatever action you take in response to feedback, you need to acknowledge it on the social media site where it occurred and say what steps you’ve taken to fix the problem (if that’s the case). Even if the comment originated from a single crank, formulate a polite response.
“We appreciate the time you took to alert us to this issue, and in response, we’re looking into better scheduling our appointments/better communicating with patients when unavoidable delays occur.”
And be sure to thank the positive commenters, as well. A quick, “Thanks so much. That’s good to hear,” not only rewards them for the effort they made to praise you, but encourages more positive feedback from others.
Once you get into a routine with social media, it won’t take as much time as you might think, and it will prove invaluable to your business. 101 Management, Inc., can help you devise a winning strategy to help you solidify your social media presence.