04 April 2014 | Social Media

Your customers are talking about you online. Join the conversation

Over the last ten years social media websites and apps have become intrenched in our daily lives.

Forget about your business for a moment, how are you using social media?

Here's what I use on a regular basis. Yes, I know I might have a problem.

  1. Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family
  2. Twitter to find and share news and content that interests me
  3. Foursquare to explore new locations while travelling
  4. Google+ to chat to friends, find local business details, and read customer reviews
  5. Tumblr as my personal homepage and blog

The SMS function on our mobile phones has been another big loser to social networks. Between Facebook Messenger and Google+ Hangouts I rarely send a SMS message from my phone anymore. This is a big deal, so big that Facebook recently purchased it's messaging competitor WhatsApp for $21 billion AUD. Yes, billion with a B.

The reality is that there are a lot of people, that matter to your business, who are currently using these networks as part of their daily lives. Your customers, clients, fans, haters, friends, enemies, competitors, and partners are all there. They're writing about their experiences, taking photos, writing comments, and sharing the things that they love or hate the most.

Here's five changes you can make to actively participate in the online conversation about your business:

  1. Take the time to fill out your complete business details on Facebook and Google+. Things like phone numbers, opening hours, locations, nearest parking, and photography are all important.
  2. Use Google alerts to let you know when Google's search engine finds anything mentioning your name or brand. You could even monitor your competitors.
  3. Edit your Facebook Page's settings to email you when people interact with your business Facebook Page.
  4. Use public complaints as an opportunity to publicly solve a problem and show that you care about your customers. If the problem can't be solved publicly, then invite them to contact you so that you can solve the problem. That said, don't accept abuse on Facebook, report and remove it.
  5. Use a tool like Buffer to simplify the task of posting content to multiple social networks at once.
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