One of the key benefits of social media is the ability to see which businesses and brands your friends and family like, have used, and recommend. We feel safer if someone we know has endorsed a business or brand before we use it. This is a very powerful tool that businesses can use as part of their social media marketing strategy.
Utilising customer comments, endorsements, and referrals as part of your social media marketing will not only add a lot of credibility to your brand but will also provide you with user generated content to capitalise on. There are many sources of this content – some of these are outlined below
Foursquare – If you haven’t already done so, claim your location and set up some check in specials. Monitor the check in’s on a regular basis and where appropriate acknowledge them.
If your venue lends itself, use a table talker, signage or other advertising asking visitors to check in, and remember to thank them.
Twitter – Set up search for your business name, check that and your @ mentions – not all of these will be endorsements, however any mention of your brand online are an opportunity to engage.
Respond to retweets, mentions and replies as soon as possible, your engagement will not only be appreciated but also makes it more likely for that person to mention you again, as well as others.
Facebook – This is a great platform to get brand endorsements, particularly if you work hard at fostering relationships with your customers – your Facebook community will be more than happy to offer up positive comments – just make sure you acknowledge them.
By providing superior customer service online will assist in garnering positive comments, again ensuring that you acknowledge and thank those who make the comments.
LinkedIn – This professional networking site is the perfect location for recommendations from those you have done business with. Particularly beneficial for those businesses who offer a service and do not sell products.
This platform has an inbuilt endorsement facility to garner recommendations. You can send a recommendation request to anyone you have done business with and they complete the recommendation with hints from the pre-completed options or write their own. It’s a fabulous way to get new recommendations, just make sure you share them through your other networks and add them to your website.
Tripadvisor – One of the biggest sources of online reviews for hospitality establishments, although not all the reviews that are left may be favourable, these do give you an opportunity to put your side across, offer an apology if required, and provide an online response which will, in most cases, earn you some brownie points with others reading the reviews.
For hospitality establishments, you could provide your guests with a ‘thank you’ slip when they check out, asking them to write a review about you on the site. Make sure you use your social channels to share the reviews.