Social media involves several important processes, and one of them is talking. While talking to your customers is important, the real power is in listening.
Image - Mashable
For many small business owners, using social media tools and learning how to harness the real power of social media, particularly social monitoring, can take time. Social monitoring tools can be costly for small companies; anlyzing their engagement data, not siloing the data into one area of the company, and developing a social engagement strategy require specialized skills.
To perform social monitoring effectively, you should respond in a timely manner to customers' issues, collect competitor intelligence, and look for industry and brand trends. You should also be willing to make changes to your brands' customer and brand strategy based on evolving trends, modify your SEO strategies, and forecast potential problems. It is also important to update your brands' corporate governance policies annually (an area rarely discussed in most social monitoring articles and corporate practices), and work towards attracting repeat customers.
Why target repeat customers? Because your company’s real profits are directly tied to repeat customers, not a one-time purchase. Repeat customers are drivers to your company’s long-term profitability.
Social measurement information is also valuable; work towards finding ways to link your social monitoring data to your customer purchase or profit behavior.
Today using social media technologies, including sophisticated monitoring dashboards, is recommended for all good business practices, although getting the most value from these technologies' current capabilities and future developments will be challenging for many small companies. Purchasing, staffing, and managing or outsourcing these practices will require a revenue stream that many smaller business do not have. Social technology companies, for example, will have to offer scaled-down versions of their sophisticated monitoring platforms to attract non-enterprise, smaller business environments.