By Kevin D. Johnson, Jr.
Imagine walking in a store and you speak to the employees and they just look the other way. Or you call a store to inquire about a product and they never answer the phone. This can be likened to how some people feel when they ask questions and are engaging on your social media pages and the Social Media Manger doesn’t reply. A question to ask yourself is “how would a responsible business person respond in a face to face setting?” These social sites are merely extensions of stores, boutiques, office spaces, etc. Small businesses now have the ability to open their proverbial doors wider than they ever could before. We are now positioned to engage people on several platforms with an opportunity to display the personality trait of the company. If done correctly, this has the potential to get you at least to the point of a strong lead or very interested patron. This doesn’t guarantee the deal will close, that has to do more with price points and if it’s a good fit for a potential customer. Even if there isn’t a monetary transition, there is great value in the positive exchange. Just because the person didn’t go with your service, doesn’t mean that it has to go down in the lost column. They could return later and in this day and age of “shout outs” like in the case of Instagram, you are essentially being endorsed by this person. Now you are in their feed and their followers can learn about you. They are now a part of the marketing team. There will be a new crop of people exposed to your company. It’s possible that someone in this group could need your service and or product. This means that now they are aware of your business and it could be a deal or transaction sooner or later.
In order to begin to capitalize on the clientele via social media, pleasant interaction along with content suitable for your target market must be shown. What sense does it make to spend time building an audience only to ignore them? That’s equivalent to running a TV commercial and people being drawn to it and want to come to your business but you won’t open the door. You are closing the door to a potential customer/client by not interacting with them. The initial impression is so important. Once you establish a high standard, the consistency is what will set you apart. Granted, some businesses have a large number of followers that ask questions and it can be a challenge but do all that you can to acknowledge them. For example, if you have some sort of promotion going on and you see that you are getting similar questions, you can do a post that answers the question and tag the people in them.
There are brands that people will follow and support for various reasons such as generation brand loyalty. However, a bad experience on or offline can change the views of one’s company. Small businesses should really keep this in mind and develop a habit of responding to the social media community.