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5 Reasons A Social Media Presence Is Critical For Your Local Business
There are hundreds of awesome statistics backing up local business needs for social media. For example, did you know that 69% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has a social media site, and 81% of consumers expect businesses to respond to them via social media?
But beyond statistics, there are a few other critical reasons that your local business needs to establish a social media presence. Here are the top five that should have you creating (or updating) your social media profiles!
1. Social Media Channels Rank Well in Search
Depending on your industry, there are dozens of local review and directory networks that typically rank well in search – some better than your own website. And if you happen to have a low rating on one of those networks, then a consumer’s first impression of your business may be three stars or less.
One way to bump those local review and directory networks down the page in search results is to have established social media channels, particularly on Facebook and Twitter. This way, even if someone can’t find your official website when they search for your business name, they can find properties that you have control over which link back to your main website.
2. Social Media Helps You Connect with Your Community
If you don’t enjoy local networking events, the next best way to connect with potential consumers in your community is through social media. Here are just a few ways to do it.
- Using your personal profile on Facebook, you can join local Facebook groups where people go to get business referrals.
- Using your page on Facebook, you can post comments and engage with people in your community on other Facebook pages.
- On Twitter, you can connect with people who live in your community to follow and jump into discussions.
- If your business serves other businesses, then you can look for local groups on LinkedIn to connect with other professionals in your industry.
While you may not make a sale every time you chat with someone, you will put your business in the forefront of their minds when they do need a business with your products or services.
3. Social Media Lets You Provide Real-Time Customer Service
The ROI of your customer support is tough to measure, but think of it in these terms – if your local business has one front desk assistant, they could miss a call from a potential new customer while taking a customer support call; on the other hand, if the customer is already a fan of your Facebook page or follows you on Twitter, they could ask their question there and get it answered online, freeing up your phone lines.
Consumers already expect to get responses from businesses on social media. All you have to do is let your customers know how to connect with you, and then monitor your channels for any posts on your Facebook page wall or mentions of your Twitter account.
4. Social Media Offers Free “Word of Mouth” Marketing
People love to talk about the things they love, and if your business’s products and services are in that list, they will be talking about your business with their friends. Considering the statistic showing 81% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by their friend’s social media posts, that’s a favorable way to get some free marketing. Not to mention that, if people are checking in to your business regularly on Facebook, their friends are seeing how much your customers love your business.
5. Social Media Allows You to Tell Your Side of the Story
When you have your own social media channel, you have the opportunity to provide excellent customer service at a personal and public level. It’s personal because you can reach out to each person who has a concern about your business, and it’s public because anyone can follow your conversations. It’s a great way to demonstrate your customer service skills to potential and current customers, and simultaneously a great way to save a potential customer loss.
In addition, if your business is publicly called out because of a problem (think Target and the credit card breach), you have your own transparent social media channels to call upon. Instead of letting everyone just talk about your business, you can come forward, admit any wrongdoing if applicable, and tell consumers what you are doing to handle the situation. Your current customers will love you for it.
Whether you are looking for better ways to market your business, boost your positive reputation, or provide customer service, social media is the place to be. The best way to prove its worth to your business is to start with your own Facebook page and see the results for yourself!
Does your local business have a social media presence? Let us know how it helps your business in the comments!
Latest posts by Kristi Hines (see all)
- Is Your Company’s Reputation Hurting Your Bottom Line? - July 9, 2014
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- 5 Reasons A Social Media Presence Is Critical For Your Local Business - June 4, 2014