Social media has evolved into much more than personal sharing of thoughts, ideas and pictures. Businesses take advantage of the ongoing connection between all the social media platforms and use it to advertise, entice and please potential customers’ senses.
One of my virtual assistant clients is a recipe blogger, and along with each recipe she posts on her blog comes a story or tips on cooking, raising children or life in general. Each day I post four Facebook posts, 10 Twitter reposts, at least 75 Pinterest pins, and upload her recipes to several sites. For all the posts and pins I do for her, there are 25 more bloggers doing the same for each other. For a small recipe blogger from northern Minnesota, she gets sponsored quite a bit by huge companies, and her social media statistics are pretty impressive for a one-woman shop.
• Facebook: 35,000 followers.
• Twitter: 917 followers.
• Pinterest: 4 million views monthly and 37,000 followers.
• Instagram: 5,600 followers.
Aside from pictures, videos and miscellaneous posts, social media platforms have become an avenue for posting reviews. Did you know that 90% of consumers read online reviews prior to making their decision about a business and 88% of those consumers trust what they read. In fact, those 88% trust the online reviews as much as they would a good friend telling them in person how great (or bad) their opinion of the business is.
And those stars that are used for ratings? If a company has four stars or more, 92% of consumers will use the business for their products or services.
As great as good reviews are, poor or bad reviews are just as detrimental.
Another one of my clients is a large, upscale bed and breakfast. It is an expansive, 4-level timber frame structure that has 9 different themed rooms, boasts a gourmet kitchen with appliances I could only dream of having, a trail through the woods, and a trout stream flowing through the field. If you’re craving peace and tranquility, this is the place to go. One of the room’s theme is Narnia and even has a wardrobe that turns into a tunnel one can crawl through around the perimeter of the room.
This bed and breakfast can be reserved by the room or by the whole house. Three weeks ago the entire house was reserved, and the group arrived in spurts sporting two campers, many cars, an extra blow up mattress or two, and all their groceries. The group was pleasant and seemed to give very positive feedback. However, one day later, a poor review was posted on Facebook (which one cannot delete). At first it was shocking and shattered the owner.
But rather than sink into a deep hole of despair, we took the criticism constructively and sprung into action. First, we emailed the person who made the reservation and secondly, crafted a response for the Facebook review.
Unfortunately, as cliché as this sounds, negative reviews come with the territory of owning or running a business. No matter how good you think your product is, how great your customer service representatives are, or perfect you think your services are, someone will be dissatisfied at some point in time. How you handle it is crucial!
Tara Johnson of CPC Strategy states, “Bad reviews actually give you power as a retailer. They give you an opportunity to use your brand voice, to right your wrongs and to deliver stellar customer service — and to do it publicly, where potential customers can see it.”
Watch for next week’s column for a breakdown on handling negative reviews and turning them into an opportunity to shine!
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