5 Ways to Protect Your Business Online
As we discussed in a previous blog, having a digital and social media presence is a great way to grow your business (see How to Increase Sales in a Digital World), but once your company is active online you need to keep an eye on your brand.
Everything that is put out in the digital world is viral and can be tracked, so it’s important to be aware that what you say about yourself and your competitors can either help or potentially hurt your company. One misstep and your company reputation could be on the line (all it takes is one click to share your misfortune to others). Also, you want to be aware of what others are saying about your business online. Here are some tips to make sure you put your best face forward to your customers and followers.
- Have a plan. If you open a Facebook or Twitter account, you will need to determine your goals and how you will use social media to promote your business. Do you want to share information, talk with customers, and promote a product or service? Once you figure that out, stick to it and determine how often you want to communicate via social media (once a week, three times a week, every day?). Ideally, you will want to maintain a steady stream of communication to build your customer following and keep them retained and engaged in your company. Plus, it’s not all about promoting your service. Engage in social conversation and post information beyond work, so it’s less corporate sounding and more human. It is also not recommended to open up accounts online, post a couple times, and then abandon it.
- Designate one person to interact. Too many people responding via social media can get confusing. Determine one person at your company who will monitor and respond to questions or engage in conversations. Make sure you use one unified voice that best represents your company.
- Get a policy. Speak with your lawyer and create a social media policy that guides employee use of social media.
- Don’t air dirty laundry. Don’t get into a social fight. If someone is complaining about your service, take it offline or respond appropriately by immediately offering to help in a non-threatening way.
- Be responsive. The digital world is all about getting answers quickly, so it’s important to be timely with your responses. They will remember the customer experience and may even share it with their friends. You will want to make sure to set up social media notifications so even if you are out in the field, you will instantly know when a customer posted, messaged, commented, or liked you on social media. You can also set up Google news alerts so you’ll know whenever your company is mentioned online.
By embracing the online and social landscape, you can help grow and promote your business and be readily available to respond to your customers.
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