Entrepreneurs, Social Media Could Be Working Harder For You

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

A digital study carried out by We Are Social states that more than 3.8 billion people all over the world use social media. That means nearly 60 percent of the world’s population is already online.

When I started my Facebook-based online clothing store two years ago, that statistics was my only inspiration in joining. I wanted fast money with little cost. I took the help of already made up traffic on Facebook and wanted to start the very first online project of my life. What I didn’t consider is: social media can make you — but can also ruin you.

Nowadays, it is so easy to leave a bad review. As a good review can uphold a new business, a bad one can make it plummet. The toxicity of social media is: we like to laugh over the stupid things more than we want to absorb the good. Most of the businesses, reputed, or startups, all depend on social media to make an impression. People are constantly talking about businesses and services, there are social influencers, for whom it is like a job to review things.

These reviews can help your business a ton. But one bad one can keep haunting you for years. I had to shut down my business to start again from the scratch, only because I didn’t understand the ways of surviving in this era of Social Connection. So, keeping a good reputation online is more important now than ever. How can you work to increase your chance of a better review? These are some tips that I wish I knew about.

Ask for a review yourself.

I found it the hard way that if you don’t ask for help, customers tend to go to their own flock to gossip over all the ways you’ve screwed up. Everyone is constantly updating their friends and followers on what they are doing. If your business is a restaurant or customer service, maybe a retail shop or e-commerce business — beware, as these are the most highlighted topic on social media. You have to be extra careful.

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  • You must have noticed many places do this. Google Apps, Facebook Messenger are often asking for a rating. If our video call was crappy, we press the one-star and vent our disappointments and be done with it.
  • On the other hand, you will also get to know what the problem is. We can never know enough about our target customers.
  • If you are new at the business, ask after their experience yourself before they complete any transaction. Do not think that they will give you constructive criticism if you don’t ask for it. They would rather write a juicy post on Facebook.

Keep well-trained staff.

Keep staff who know what they have to do and how they have to treat the customers. Most of the time, admit it, the reviews say that the service was bad because they didn’t know manners. So be careful with that.

I had been a one-person-army in this area. Even though I had a full dedication, communication with clients can often be time-consuming with no end results. That can be very difficult. As a naturally impatient person, I had to toil to be polite. An ordinary staff might not feel the same way.

  • You can arrange a system of giving prizes to the best staff of the month to keep them more committed. Create a competition, it always increases attentiveness.
  • Keep the staff happy, especially the ones in direct communication with the customer. Make sure that they are committed to staying in a good mood when dealing with customers.
  • Make patience your key mantra. Learn that social media is a storm that spreads a rep at lightning speed. Seriously. Remember how celebrity chef Paula Deen lost her cooking empire after admitting to saying the N-word on live TV? Even after that, the slightest problems were caught right up by people. Any simple thing can become viral in this time and age, not all for the good.

Ensure good quality service.

The main reason my business tanked was because of a horrible delivery service. In an online clothing business, delivery is half the job, but I hadn’t been vigilant enough to hire a good delivery agency, thus resulting in customer dissatisfaction, which resulted in pretty bad reviews. So, selecting all the aspects of the business to confirm the best quality is a must.

The good quality of your service or product is the only thing that will keep you floating for years to come. The quality is never a place for doubts. If your service quality is bad then you cannot blame anyone for your bad rep. What you can do is:

  • Admit to still being in the learning process. Being humble is good.

“That’s right” is great, but if you say, “You’re right,” nothing changes.
― Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference

  • Take care to keep the quality high from the start. Once a bad rep goes online, it’s hard to get it offline.
  • Never use social media to call someone out on a review you think was incorrectly done. In any case, apologizing is the high ground to stand on.

Try to become loyal.

In any business, loyalty is what holds the customer to you. Similar businesses are starting all around, how can you be sure that your customer will not leave for something newer or maybe more beneficial?

  • If you are a start-up, try providing extra benefits to stay on their minds. If a customer remembers you, they will the talking about and they will come back.
  • Try giving loyalty gifts or gift cards to recurring customers. Be sure that they will be writing about it. A good review is the only way to rise to a moderate chance at this time and age.
  • But keep in mind, if they remember you because the experience was very bad, they’ll definitely write about you. That will not be good for either your business or your self-esteem.

As I was trying to build up my business again, the handful of people who helped me were those who had become loyal to me. I had been competent in getting their trust and they were dedicated to helping me stand back up.

Create a good website.

A good website is a place where everyone should flock in. They will hear about you and want to check you out. Many small start-ups don’t want to go there right away. But remember, it gives you good credibility.

  • Make a good, relevant website with clear links to your address, contact info, and social media links.
  • Gather some good reviews from a couple of people with a good reputation on the field and then showcase them on your site.
  • When people see something about you on social media, good or bad, they will eventually land on your page. And tell me who they will choose? A random rant on Twitter — or a confident presentation with credible reviews?
  • Keep a welcome place for overbearing people to rant and know how to deal with them: with respect and patience.

This is one aspect of the business that I didn’t spend much time or effort in. But, it is necessary in building a brand that people can trust and come back to with any questions. This will be my next step in reviving my business.

Manage your internet footprint.

Even after all this effort, those terrible reviews still resurface time and again, reducing the number of new customers. I might decide to go the coward’s way and just rebrand my business under a different name, taking into action all the things I’ve learned:

  • Have a good social media presence. Whatever our business might be, keep a social account for people to reach out.
  • Facebook or Twitter or any other type of accounts will help you in self-advertising. People will get to hear from yourself about what you have to say, you will seem more real.
  • Keep your personal and business profiles separate. Do not mess it up.

If you don’t want to become a trending hashtag on Twitter for all the wrong reasons, like Paula Deen and that owner and chef from award-winning Boston restaurant Pigalle, carefully keep your footprint mud-free.

Social media is a necessary evil. The era of this powerful connectivity will only expand. Learn the inner workings of this power, become acquainted with it. If you know what to look for, this can be easy enough. Of you believe you’ve messed up so bad that it’s not possible to revive, just start anew. It will be hard, but the clean slate will indeed help in starting over. Use these social media platforms to your advantage, implement all the knowledge you attain one at a time. Use them to succeed, not to ruin your business.

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Writing mostly to myself. Sharing some of it with you. Hope it helps.

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Ovinelket

Ovinelket

Writing mostly to myself. Sharing some of it with you. Hope it helps.

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