Social media can impact a business in a variety of ways. In many cases, the impact is very positive, providing a business with numerous key benefits. This is why small businesses need to focus more on this type of social interaction with their current and would-be customers. It’s important to consider how Facebook, Twitter, and the numerous other social media sites and actually impact your business to determine if it is worth your investment.

How Social Media Helps Businesses

Social media’s definition focuses on the social interactions between customers and business owners. It provides an avenue for individuals to connect with, learn from, and learn about companies. In this manner, it allows you to build better relationships with your customers. You’ll get to interact directly with your customers while meeting their needs for information. You become a trusted source of information in this instance. That builds long-term loyalty, too.

How Social Media Can Negatively Impact Your Business

You are opening the door to conversations with this marketing and media method. Not all of those conversations will be good ones, unfortunately. It is possible for negative comments from customers and competitors to play a role in what your customers think about your business. A bad review on Yelp may seem like the worst thing in the world when you see it. Yet, if you take these moments of negative feedback and turn them around, they can be very good for business.

For example, if you notice a bad review of your company on a social media network, or perhaps an unsatisfied customer is on your site, do something about it. Instead of downplaying it, removing the comment, or getting into a verbal bashing with the individual, step back and react as you would if the customer was in your store with a complaint. Handle it professionally, resolve it, apologize, and genuinely work to achieve improved results. Not only does this help to save that individual, but your social media following gets to see just how important you value customers.

When it comes to social media, an interaction with customers is important. While there may be a few negative comments left by individuals, this does not have to be a long-term problem. You can reverse the negative effects on your small business and turn them in to a very good experience.

UnMarketing

In Scott Stratten’s UnMarketing he takes social media a step further. Among many convincing aspects, he advises to “Stop Marketing. Start Engaging” through the use of Social Media. Social media should become a conversation, not just for pushing notices of blogs. For example, if you use Twitter you can monitor complaints of your business or industry and respond with great solution or offers as they come up. The conversation is open and so you don’t need a prior relationship with the users and so your reach and value can be immediate. Twitter as a platform can be great to build your following, identify people to follow, reply to their requests, write about them and / or mention them.

For full disclosure, in case you’ve already checked our social media statistics, we’re not very good at this yet! However, with our a VP Customer Engagement recently coming onboard we’re learning quickly!