Four lessons on social media in 2011

.vn – To many people, it may be a mess of devices and applications flooding the market. However, to businesspersons, it is a significant way to promote their brands. 2011 can be seen as “the year of social media”. Small businesses, franchise businesses, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs have now joined in the race of social media. Though businesses have many ways to connect with customers, we cannot deny the effectiveness of social media with the advances in information technology.



1. Loyal customers are the best communication channel to new markets.


Businesses often put a lot of effort and money to look for new customers. It is an essential work but what happened last year shows that loyal customers are still the best ones and also the cheapest way to bring in new customers. They are more likely to stick with your business and your brand community so your company can connect with their network on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media.


Satisfied customers will suggest your business for their friends and acquaintances and post your business name on the list of reference destinations on the internet. Therefore, don’t forget to entice them into the social media channel you use when looking for new markets.


2. Social media will boost your marketing plan


It may seem paradoxical but a small-scale business is actually an advantage in social media world. Unlike big corporations, small businesses can directly connect with everyone that is interested in them on social media so remember to take advantage of your small scale.


Let join in conversations with your customers and aanswers personally each question, comment, complaint and praise of customers. Let them talk freely and give them reason to continue chatting.


The society is not passive so encourage your fans or followers on social network sites to share your posts or visit your website. Let invite them to make comments, share photos and stories or invite them to a discussion.


Authenticity is often attributed to small businesses in a natural way so use it as your advantage. Although modern technology helps you update your social network page easily, you should not set too many automatic modes. Customers can absolutely know which posts on you Twitter or Facebook are automatic or manual. What they want to see behind your “social face” is a real “human” that is willing to listen and reflect their opinions.


3. Customers’ reviews become more valuable than ever


Nielsen’s recent report shows that “word of mouth endorsement” is a critical communication solution: 78% of customers say they believe in other customers’ recommendations while 14% believe in ads. We often believe in a customer’s assessment though we don’t know him. An evaluation or a recommendation will be more reliable when it comes from a colleague, friend or your family.


Social media provides users with a platform and an unprecedented power to the market. Let look at Bank of America or Netflix – the big corporations was turning like a propeller as consumers used social media to complain about their changes. Just a voice can make ripples and then may unconsciously turn into a wave of social media.

Reviews, opinions and recommendations are all important though they are good or bad. Mobile applications allow consumers to learn about a restaurant or a retail store before they actually buy something as well as post their comments on its website. Make sure you know what your customers are talking about you online and correct any mistake as soon as possible before their grumbles turn into a discontent scream.


On the other hand, loyal customers are the best evangelists for your brand. Let thank them for any positive comments they made about you on social media. Moreover, let invite them to share their positive experiences of your product or service. At the end of the day, their feedbacks will be the anchor for your social media operation.


4. Businesses must experiment to succeed.


Before succeeding, you have to try and even make mistakes many times on social media. Sometimes, social contents that you think may be attractive turn out to be unattractive and some others you randomly post on turn into unexpectedly interesting discussions. To succeed, businesses should closely monitor and promote effective communication methods. Beside analyzing email-marketing data and surveying customers, you should keep track on your fans on Facebook and followers on Twitter. – TTVN/Entrepreneur