When your friend tells you about a company they like, do you trust them?
78% of people trust peer recommendations of a company (source: Erik Qualman, “Socialnomics”). And while word of mouth has always been valued, social media pushes this type of referral even further because, now, people can search for others’ reviews about a company.
Let me give a personal example you might relate with. When I want to know more about a company, the first thing I search for is their website – normally, their “about us” page. The second thing I look at is their social media accounts. Why? Because I want to know what other people are saying about them. And I want to know how they interact with their customers. What that company says about themselves MUST be backed up by positive customer feedback.
What does this mean? Social media has revolutionized traditional marketing and public relations in the last few years, and for that reason, it is crucial for your company to have a social media presence.
Having customers share online about their positive experiences with your company is quicker and cheaper than television commercials or print advertisements will ever be. Companies who gain new customers through word of mouth referral have an added advantage, since those people most likely already have a positive view of the brand.
On the other hand, negative comments about a company that are posted online can pose a threat. The good news is that complaints directed through social media give you the opportunity to spend more time fixing the problem rather than on trying to find the problem. If you take immediate action, you can actually turn a negative comment into a positive one by showcasing good customer service.
You see, in order to keep a strong brand image, companies must learn how to listen and effectively react to comments – both positive and negative – posted about them online. In future blog posts, I’ll give more advice on best practices for social media marketing; however, if you need guidance on your current efforts, please give us a call at 410-312-0081 or fill out our contact form.
–Emily Crider, Project Manager