If you haven't figured it out by now, social media is the new word of mouth (Yes, even for eyecare providers). More than ever, consumers are turning to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to voice their opinions about the experiences they have with the businesses they visit. With that being said, it's more important than ever for business owners to be on these social networks to find out what people are saying about them online. Here's why:
Accessibility - Getting your business set up on social media sites gives you access to your customers opinions and experiences like never before. By using the tools available from social media outlets such as HootSuite and Tweetdeck, you can browse comments about specific topics and even see your customers sentiments towards your business. This is a great way to get a feel for how you are perceived online.
Visibility - Without a doubt having a social media presence, and online presence in general, makes your business more visible to the public. By constantly producing content about your practice and the eyecare industry, eventually your peers, and clients, will see you as an industry expert. And having your business on sites like Yelp gives your customers an open forum to sing their praises about you while increasing your level of exposure. Using social media not only makes you more visible to your customers, but it makes your customers more visible to you, which brings us to our next topic.
Next Level Customer Service - Do you know every time a customer leaves your practice unsatisfied? Probably not, but by taking advantage of the tools that social media puts at your disposal, you can be more aware of problems you may not have even known existed. And, even better, when you're customers aren't unhappy you can simply thank them for coming in! @DrMarkLynn does a great job of this. Follow their lead!
Accuracy - Social media gives you the opportunity to check the validity of what people are saying about you. Are you currently running a promotion or contest that your customers might be talking about? It's important to know what they might be saying about that particular promotion to ensure that everyone has the facts straight. The last thing you want is a mob of angry customers in your store because they were misinformed about a promotion online. If you do come across someone who is misinformed, contact them directly to make sure they know the specifics about your promotions. And be sure to post about the contest specifics regularly to prevent confusion.
Mostly Free -Most social media tools are free for you to use! And the ones you do have to pay for are definitely affordable. An upgraded account on HootSuite, that gives you access to reporting and analytic tools, is as cheap as $5.99/month. Think about all the exposure and functionality you could bring to your practice at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing!
So what do you think? Do you use the tools social media gives you to gain a better understanding of what your customers are saying about you? Do you think that using these tools has made it easier to provide another level of customer service? How have your experiences been interacting with customers through social media? Let us know by commenting below!
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