Using Social Media to Establish Customer Loyalty
Recently during a conversation with my local groomer, I asked her why her business didn’t have a stronger social media presence; her response was, she could barely keep up with the amount of business she currently has and didn’t need to do anything to bring in more customers. Not every small business owner is lucky enough to have such a problem, but the issue does bring up an important question. Is it ever advisable to not promote your small business through social media? The answer is social media does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. My groomer friend may not need to promote her business in an effort to obtain new clients, but she does need to manage her company’s social image in order to establish and maintain customer loyalty.
According to Mashable.com, 90% of all Yelp users say positive reviews affect their purchasing decisions. Strategic use of Yelp and other social media sites open the door of opportunity for small businesses keep an open line of communication with their customers. It allows a business to respond immediately to a post from a dissatisfied customer thereby, preventing a one sided, unanswered complaint from becoming the online face of your business. Why would any business pass up such an awesome opportunity to build customer loyalty, especially when all it costs is a little time!
People want to know that they are being listened to and that their opinions matter when they are spending their hard earned dollars. Remember, your customers may be beating down the doors to give you their business today, but don’t let the boom become the foundation for complacency. If you don’t want to set up your own pages on social media, at the very least, take the time to regularly search your business on Google and check your rating on Yelp. Post a simple note of appreciation for positive reviews and engage the customer who wrote the negative review. A few minutes of managing your company’s online reputation and image can go a long way!