By Iain MacMillan, RMM
Speaking at the IAB’s ‘Digital marketing for small businesses’ event last week, we provided a few hints and tips on using social media to help develop relationships with customers, prospects, media and employees.
We focused on six areas of activity as a quick guide to small businesses getting started in social media – and we’d welcome any further suggestions.
Whatever the size of your business, it is vital to listen to online conversations to determine what customers and prospects are saying about your products and services. This will help inform your future social media activity, and will flag any customer service issues. Where customers are discussing your products and services, you should respond quickly and ideally as authentically as possible.
Once you have established a place in your customers’ conversations, you can begin engaging more proactively and building communities in your own social media spaces. You can also establish your position as an authority in relevant conversations by running your own business network to facilitate introductions between key people. Customers and other stakeholders will regard your community as a valuable resource, and you will widen your own network.
Once you have created a community, you can use it to enlist your most loyal customers and encourage them to advocate your organisation, through giving feedback publicly and acting as ambassadors. Enabling feedback and collaboration with customers and employees can also help improve your products and services, with the potential to transform how you do business altogether.
We’d love to hear some more thoughts and opinions on how small businesses can generate value from using social media.