Like a tree, your online business is only as strong as its roots. In order to build a strong foundation, you must ensure that your company has a solid core in four key relationship areas that include customer service, product reviews, lead generation and brand awareness, all of which can be enhanced with social media. Your business and online reputation are judged by your actions and presence on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and countless other social sites sprouting up each day. The key to successfully growing your business is to strengthen the critical networks vital to your organization, whether that be Twitter for customer support or Yelp for business reviews, and to then plant as many seeds as possible throughout social media to cultivate new relationships and opportunities.
Did you know 80% of consumers use the Internet to research products every week? If your business or service isn't listed high in search engine results or doing well on review sites like Google maps, or Yelp, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to gain new customers and build loyalty up for your brand. According to a global survey by Nielsen, the Internet is extremely important to people in the purchasing process and influences their decisions when buying various products like electronics (81%), appliances (77%), books (70%), music (69%), clothes (69%), cars (68%) and of course food (62%).
When it comes to customer service people are impatient and have little tolerance for delays. Setup notification alerts for high priority keywords on Facebook. Monitor your Twitter mentions using a social media management tool like Hootsuite in order to respond quickly with a personal message to keep customers as happy as possible.
Social media is an unbelievable way to generate new leads for your business. In fact, over 33% of marketers have generated leads via Twitter. Share interesting and relevant conent, and people will be more likely to want to engage with your business. You can also seek out top influences and trending topics to follow through the Discover feature on Twitter and tools like Tweepi and Followerwonk.
People these days are most likely to discover your brand through social media. Thus your business is represented by your various social profiles, so post content relevant to your industry. Create a Google+ page and publish content regularly, as your page, profile and recent posts can show up in Google searches. Make sure to verify your Google Authorship, which can provide a significant SEO boost to your business with your profile picture showing up in rich snippets of Google search results (increasing click through rates).