Using Social Media to Engage Current and Potential Customers

Tips on social media engagement for small businessesFor small business owners, social media plays a key role in a company?s public relations efforts. But in order to be effective, there are specific guidelines a company should follow which will help to engage both potential and current customers.

Here are some tips for engagement:

1.???? On promotional print items and during checkout, encourage customers to mention the company on their social media outlines. Once your consumers begin mentioning your company, you can begin to respond with ?thank you? notes and other verbiage that can showcase your gratitude for their purchase.??

2.???? Customer mentions are the equivalent of testimonials/reviews of your brand?s product or service experience. Comments and posts should be shared and reposted on the company page for everyone to see. ??

3.???? Use appropriate hash tags, which will draw potential clients to your brand that may not specifically be looking for your brand, but for the product/service you offer. Hash tags should mention the industry and product (for example, #fashion #scarf). ??

4.???? Put out industry news and statistics to showcase your brand?s expertise within your particular industry. ??

5.???? ?Be visual. Showcase pictures of company events and behind the scenes exclusives to get followers excited. ??

6.???? Engage and ask your followers questions about brand.? ??

7.???? ?Participate in Twitter chats. You can research twitter chats via Google as they relate to your industry. ??

8.???? Host contests and giveaways. Consumers love FREE products. ??

9.???? Draw followers to your site, provide your website link in your biography and encourage them to check out updates on the site periodically. ??

10. ?Crisis Management?unfortunately the same way people may comment positively, negative comments may be posted as well. Use this to show how resourceful and alert your customer service team is. Comment with your customer service number or email where the client can further pursue their complaint. Never be apologetic only. Always give a plan of action you plan to implement moving forward. For example, you can say:? ?We apologize that you had this experience. Please give us a call at 888-888-8888 between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:00 pm and we look forward to handling this immediately. Moving forward we plan to??.?

(Raven Robinson is a public relations consultant and the owner of PR2Politics.)