If you still think that having a page on Facebook, Google and Yelp is enough online presence to help you grow your business, you are very wrong. Just having pages and posting occasional updates won’t help your business at all.
If you want to take full advantage of what social media has to offer, you need to understand its role in the customer lifecycle.
First, to help you understand the importance of social media, let’s take a look at the term customer lifecycle. According SearchCRM, the term describes the steps a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using and maintaining loyalty to a product or service.
Social media makes an impact in every step of the cycle, especially in the loyalty part. The new lifecycle includes using search engines to find a product/service, looking up online reviews for comparison, the purchase itself, writing online reviews about the experience and then engaging with the company on social networks (loyalty).
Having your social media pages set up correctly will help with the first part of the cycle. But if you don’t talk to your customers online or take the reviews you receive very seriously, the last part of the cycle is unattended to, and it will end. In other words, you need to be present in all steps to ensure your customers come back and keep buying from you.
Also, being part of the whole process will help you identify and fix issues along the way, so you can help the customer complete the cycle and keep it going. Let’s think about bad reviews. Most businesses don’t like getting them or dealing with them. What they fail to see is that bad reviews are actually great opportunities for improvement. Recent studies found out that, while 46% of customers go online to vent their frustration with bad customer service, 97% of the issues can be resolved by having social involvement. In other words, in 97% of the cases having an online relationship with your customers (aka engaging with them on social media) will help you to transform the unhappy customers into great supporters of your business.
Get Satisfaction summarized all this thoughts in this great infographic: