Image by luc legay via FlickrWhile many think of social networking sights as a place for friends and meeting people, there is also many opportunities to build your business and take care of problems before they arise. I will go over ideas that you should be looking at to build your business and reflect back on the situation in my previous post on how it could have been taken car of as a win-win situation.
1. You need to have a blog. I know, you are a busy person and don't have time for worthless prattle in a blog. Instead you need to look at a blog as a way to personalize your business. In your blog you can discuss new items in your store, let people know about special offers, explain how to use some items, let people know about recalls, and other information that lets them know more about your business.
2. You can also Twitter. Many people still think of Twitter as something for useless talk, but it is another opportunity to network with others and let people know what is happening with your business. You can include links to postings on your blog or to the websites of companies you do business. One thing to avoid is too many posts directing people to your website and nothing else. If that's all you post and you do it too frequently (there is people out there doing 20/30 posts and hour with this kind of stuff), then you will loose followers and your message will not get out.
3. Get yourself on Facebook and MySpace. I deal with Facebook more than I do with MySpace but make sure you have a presence on them. You can also set up your facebook account so that your twitter messages will show up on your facebook page. Not only should you have a personal page on Facebook, you should also have one for your business so which will allow people to become fans of your business and to get more information about it.
Now lets go back to the situation mentioned in my last posting. The customer who was upset with the business told all his friends on Twitter and Facebook excactly what happened. Even though the business was also on Twitter and a follower of that person, they did not respond in any way shape or form. The customer is a member of a close nit group who is the main niche of this store. While some people may continue doing business with this store do you think that some of the people that followed the customer will stop doing business with said store? Of course they will and the silence made the situation worse.
So what should the store have done? They could have made a blog post and posted links to their other social networking sights telling their side of the story and what they tried to do for the customer. Once you make your statement you do not want to say anything else. The other person will most likely want to get in a shouting match with you but no one will win in that situation. It is easy to get emotional in these situations since the person is putting down in your business but the best thing to do is sit back, let others see your side and make their decision from there.
Use social networking sights to your advantage. It is an opportunity for your customers to know you better, find new customers, give your customers more information about your business to your customers, and deal with your customer service issues.