Be Proactive, Rather Than Reactive, When It Comes To Social Media

You’ve spent years building your company’s reputation. Now, with social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc.) one bad review can possibly deter dozens of potential customers from doing business with you.

Even though online comments and reviews can have a negative impact, Amit Jain, founder of Ecinity (www.ecinity. com), said social media is still a great way to communicate with your customers and provide better customer service.

“It’s the same as listening to them on the phone,” he said. “Social media is nothing more than a new form of communication.”

The key is to be proactive about customer comments, rather than reactive. Ecinity has developed software that monitors all of the social media sites and alerts you when customers review your company or products, good or bad. 

“People end up going on social media in two key scenarios, they either hope to be heard, or they use it as a complaint center,” said Jain. “It’s very important to really focus on what’s being said because all of your customers will see it.”

Jain calls it customer satisfaction management. The software allows a company to send surveys and ask for feedback from its online community. Any unhappy reviews can be directed to an appropriate employee to be addressed. “You’re proactively reaching out and proactively addressing any concerns.”

And it doesn’t matter if you actively participate in social media or not with a company Facebook or Twitter account. There are 30 - 50 websites out there that automatically list your company’s in formation and allow people to comment on it, like Manta, Google, Yellow Pages and Yelp.

Ecinity’s software not only tells you what is said about your company, but also automatically monitors these listings. It routinely checks them to make sure your company’s information is accurate, which Jain said only 8 to 18 percent of the information on these sites usually is. That number should be 85 to 95 percent to get more positive reviews from Google, which raises your company’s Internet search rate, said Jain.

The software also helps companies build social marketing, e-mail, text and promotional campaigns, which, Jain said, is becoming the more preferred form of communication.

“People used to hand write letters, and then they used a typewriter, then a phone, cell, e-mail and now social media,” he said. “There’s a fundamental change in behavior. People now prefer e-mail to a phone call. And, Facebook isn’t as annoying as daily e-mails. People can choose to ignore it or engage.”

Some people might question the importance of social media marketing because of its perceived low Return Of Investment (ROI).

“If people don’t have the ability to see the dollar amount they’ve gotten back, they shy away from it,” said Jain. “But, TV or radio spots also have a vanity value. Some companies can’t say for sure if a customer came because they saw your company on TV.”

Social media marketing can be directly tracked back to your company, especially with Ecinity’s software. Jain said one of his company’s clients with a decent Facebook community has made millions by promoting specials, auctions and sweepstakes on Facebook and directing customers back to the company’s website. Many times the company saw that the customers actually end up buying something else off the site. That’s measurable ROI.

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