Yes, social media sucks, especially for small businesses that don't have the capital or the time to throw at it.
Unfortunately, you have to tend to it like a garden full of weeds, nip it in the but and at least keep it tidy.
Neglect it and it could run you, right out of business!
Cultivate it, aggressively + efficiently, and it could yield a return on investment that is just out of this world.
If you have to do it, it might as well be done right. Right?
Here are a few reasons why it sucks and why you have to suck it up and deal with it anyway!
Staking your claim across all platforms is paramount to establishing your brand cohesively throughout the internet.
Whether you run a solo operation, a mom + pop store or a trillion dollar conglomerate, you must at the very least sign up for each of the major social platforms, brand your profile and complete all pertinent contact information.
Once you have a branded account on all of the major platforms, people may try to use their favorite one to try to contact you, for support, to initiate a sale, to get more information, maybe even just to see if you'll respond.
Regardless, if your business isn't accessible on those platforms, as in no one is getting notifications for the messages and responding to them quickly, you may lose a sale or even worse they might tell a friend that you are unresponsive.
Word of mouth can be your best friend or your worst enemy, you don't want someone squawking that your business is refusing to respond to their DMs on Tumblr.
Whomever the first point of contact is for your company should have the keys to all the accounts, have notifications turned on and be expected to shoot from the hip quickly when someone reaches out through social media.
What if, our Lord and holy savior, the precious baby Jesus in heaven forbid, that some stranger, competitor, disgruntled ex-employee or impossible to deal with customer, get online, find out where your business hasn't yet been listed, branded and established online and creates account(s) impersonating your business with whatever false information they can dream up?
Yeah, I've seen it happen, in fact I've seen it happen right here in little old Waynesville with rival appliance companies, one semi-savvy business owner doesn't like another and doesn't mind being a little shady, just starts creating profiles for their more established (not yet online) competitor with guess who's contact info?
I bet, that if I look hard enough a lot of you have more than one logo out there on the internet somewhere.
I bet the same about variations of your business name, phone number, address, email, website.
All business go through it, especially during the early growth period when your clambering to get established.
Believe it or not, it works the same online as it does on the pavement.
You have to offer consistency.
If I'm a customer and I can't figure out which phone number is your good phone number or where you're located, I'm moving on before you get the chance to give me the elevator pitch.
All of the above, leads here, trust!
Being able to trust a company, with your hard earned dollars and precious time, especially in this digital age where scams are everywhere you look, misinformation is rampant, and truths/facts/reality are all on a spectrum, you have to weave a web of trust.
It's just a plain + simple good business practice.
Tick those four easy boxes and you will feel better about your company's place in the world, you might make more money and you'll definitely get the piece of mind not having to wonder what people are seeing or saying about your business online, cause you'll know first.
If you get a bad review or low rating, respond to it positively, work with the customer, get the problem solved properly and most likely, the review will go away.
It's easy to leverage many of the social platforms as new channels to collect leads or even make sales directly.
For retail product sales, these channels are all managed through feeds from your e-commerce platform to each of the social channels.
For service-based businesses you'll list each service with a price, description + sometimes photo on each of the platforms that support it manually in the designated area.
There are many ranking factors.
One major factor is citations.
Citations are the number of references to your business with accurate and consistent information that Google can find throughout the web.
Anywhere Google sees your business name, address and phone number with the exact same accurate information as your website and Google Maps listing counts as a valid reference.
Duplicates and inconsistencies will have negative effects.
Keeping your information, clean, clear and up to date across the multitude of different platforms is really important to rank.
You will see occasionally searches where it seems like this doesn't matter at all, however, in higher competition markets, it really does matter, a lot and it could not matter today then matter the most tomorrow, so don't get caught with your pants down. Also consider there are many factors, like proximity, aggregate rating, keywords in reviews, age, etc. So if you've done all the socials and think that's it I'm done, I should be number one, think again, consider all the factors and keep working at it diligently.