The Secret to Tracking Social Media Impact

The Secret to Tracking Social Media Impact

For small business owners, it can be difficult to see a clear return on investment, or ROI, when it comes to all the time, energy, and dollars you’ve spent on social media and review sites trying to get new customers. But, having a compelling online presence is crucial for your business in today’s social media-driven market and there are lots of ways to measure the impact your online presence is having on your bottom line.

At Main Street Hub, over 10,000 local business customers trust us to elevate their online presence, and our team has some great tips for local businesses so they can succeed online and see solid ROI.

First, it’s important to mention that before you start posting on social media and evaluating your ROI, you should ensure that your business has an effective content marketing strategy in place for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can do that by sharing high-quality content that is driven by your business goals. Next, it’s time to measure how those posts are performing online. This is how you can see what’s working, what’s not, and how you should adjust your strategy moving forward.

Track these metrics, and you can start to gauge the impact of all the work you’re doing on social media and review sites:

Reach and New Followers

As your brand grows and becomes more popular, you’ll be able to see an increase in your reach and new followers, which will show you if your brand awareness is increasing as well.

New followers measures new fans who want to keep up with all the content you’re posting on your social pages, and reach measures the number of unique users who saw your content. Reach has an impact on your engagement as well (likes, comments, and clicks) — if you’re reaching the right people, then they will engage with your content.

To break it down: if your content is performing well, users will opt in and let you know that they want more by following you, and the more users engage with your content, the more reach it will get — because it will get in front of new eyes. With engaging content, businesses can expect growth in both followers and reach.

If you’re not seeing a ton of reach or new followers week over week or month over month, one tactic you can try is following people and small businesses in your local area to encourage them to follow you back, and engaging with other users’ posts. If you participate in active outreach, and like and comment on posts by people in your community and network, they will be more likely to interact with your posts — after all, it’s called social media for a reason.

Engagement and Engagement Rate

You can tell if your posts are engaging to your fanbase if your individual posts have likes, comments, and shares. In fact, over 85% of customers who consider themselves loyal to a brand will engage with that brand often by liking, commenting on, and sharing posts. If your posts don’t seem to be engaging to your audience, then you can rethink your strategy:

  • When are you posting? Considering the time of day is a huge factor in getting users to engage — try posting earlier or later, try weekdays instead of weekends, and change up the times depending on the day.
  • How often are you posting? Maybe you should post more, or post less.
  • What are you posting? Your content should be varied to keep your feed interesting to your followers.

You can measure engagement on your posts through each platform’s analytics and insights features!

Take a look at your engagement and measure your engagement rate. This can change depending on the platform you’re using, but a general equation is as follows:

Number of Likes/Number of Followers x 100 = Engagement Rate

Once you know how many of your followers are interacting with your posts (and you’ll want to see that a lot of them are), then you can get an understanding of whether or not your content is appealing to your audience.

When your followers show the love they have for your content and brand, make sure you respond! Replying to and liking comments, wall posts, mentions, and tweets is a great way to keep your online audience engaged and build more brand loyalty.

Dos and Don’ts: Protecting Your Small Business Online

Dos and Don’ts: Protecting Your Small Business Online

When you’re marketing your small business online, you want to look your best on every platform. Whether you’re responding to reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor, or keeping up with your comments, mentions, and reviews on social media, it’s important to be authentic to your voice, while keeping your current and future customers in mind. Main Street Hub knows — we’re trusted by 10,000 small businesses all over the country to tell their stories online.

Consumers that visit your social media pages and review sites are looking to see what kind of customer service they can expect when they pay you a visit. These essential dos and don’ts will help you put your best foot forward online with loyal fans and potential customers to keep your business top-of-mind and them coming back:

Review Sites

Online reviews are important for your business’ online reputation, but it’s how you respond to these reviews that really matters. In fact, 92% of consumers read online reviews, and 26% of consumers say it’s important that a local business responds to its reviews. Responding to your customer’s experiences can help show off your business’ excellent customer service and influence a future customer to come by for a visit.

Do be specific and personalize your review responses.

Try using the reviewer’s name in your response and specifically referencing something they said in their review — this will show that you care about the individual and their experience.

Don’t be defensive when you reply to negative feedback in customer reviews.

A good first step in responding to a one- or two-star review is to identify the biggest pain point mentioned by the reviewer. Many times, one- and two-star experiences with a business stem from a single misunderstanding or error and unravel from there. If you can identify where the issues began and explain how you intend to improve on that for next time, then you’ve gotten to the core of the issue for that reviewer while presenting your business in the best light.

Don’t be afraid to apologize when appropriate.

Many people leave online reviews because they want to feel heard. By acknowledging and apologizing for something that went wrong, you’re doing your best to make that unhappy customer feel that you will do your best to remedy the issue or situation. Once you’ve earned their trust back, they will be more likely to come back for another visit.

Do be yourself! Online users are attracted to authenticity. It’s important to respond in the most personalized and authentic way possible so your customers know that they’re talking to a real person who cares about their concerns.

Social Media

Customer service online shouldn’t stop at review sites. Take a look at these interesting stats: 67% of consumers now utilize networks like Twitter and Facebook for customer service requests, and 33% of consumers even prefer to contact brands using social media rather than a phone call. This means that each and every message, mention, and wall post that comes in for your business on social media has the power to influence consumers’ opinions of your business and their chances of visiting you when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Do be personable and address people directly when responding to mentions, comments, and reviews on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If the review, message, or mention contains a detail about the customer’s experience or a particular thing that stood out to them about your business, work that into your response, too. The more personal the better — it shows that you took the time to craft a response that speaks to their concerns.

And, don’t forget to say, “thank you.” Whether the customer’s feedback is positive or negative, it’s key to thank that customer for taking the time to reach out. After all, gathering feedback from your customers is the most effective way to find out what you can be doing better to improve the experience at your business.

Don’t forget to remind your customers that they are welcome to reach out to you any time.

Encouraging more comments, messages, mentions, and reviews will not only increase your engagement, it will also maximize your reach. As more of your fans and followers engage with your page, you will gain exposure to their networks — getting your business in front of brand new audiences.

Don’t ignore conversations happening in your local area.

At least 319 million people are active on Twitter every month, and 85% of those Twitter users report feeling more connected to the small businesses that they follow.

Twitter is the perfect place to engage with people looking online for services your business offers. If you own a casual pizza restaurant, you can search for users tweeting keywords and hashtags like, “hungry,” “pizza craving,” or “#lunchtime,” and jump into conversations. With a little interaction, users might just click to your profile, check out your business, and look at what you have to offer. By reaching out and engaging in conversations on Twitter, you’ll add more users to your online community and stay top-of-mind with consumers in your area.

Do: Be engaging! Interact with users on these platforms to protect your business’ reputation and extend your customer service online.

Always be sure to like and respond to user comments on your own photos, and comment and like posts of users in your community and fanbase. This will show users that you care about what they post, that you’re listening and engaged, and it will support your business’ authentic voice and personality. Building relationships with potential customers and maintaining those relationships with current customers will be the most enduring way to create brand loyalty for your business.

Extend Your Customer Service Online Through Social Media

Extend Your Customer Service Online Through Social Media

An increasing number of consumers are not only leaving reviews on sites like Yelp and Google, but they’re also turning to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to ask questions and request assistance from businesses. In fact, 33% of consumers even prefer to contact brands through social channels rather than an email or phone call.

At Main Street Hub, we work with thousands of local businesses across the country, so we know that online users are counting on businesses to respond to their requests and questions in a short period of time. This means that every direct message, mention, and wall post that comes in on social media is an opportunity for your business to extend its customer service online. If you monitor this communication effectively, you can use each post to show your customers the same care you would if they were in your store or restaurant.

Don’t miss these three essential tips to extend your customer service online through social media:

1. Respond to every review and request

Customers use Twitter and Facebook to talk about their specific experience at local businesses, and more and more, they’re using these platforms to ask questions like “Are you open on Mother’s Day?,” “Does your shop do oil changes?” “Do you have gluten-free items on your menu?” or “Can we make reservations online?” Social media is all about two-way conversations. These consumers are reaching out to you directly and expecting a quick response, so don’t ignore them! Engage with them by monitoring and responding to all incoming wall posts, direct messages, mentions, reviews, and tags that come in for your local business on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yelp. Responding to all of this communication will help your business appear accessible and responsive, and you’ll stay actively engaged with your customers and community. Plus, letting that feedback go unanswered could make your potential customers lose trust in your business, and ultimately, cause them to go to a competitor instead.

This strategy will also help to connect you with your customer base and understand what they’re looking for from your business so you can provide the best customer experience possible.

Pro Tip: Keeping a tracking document or spreadsheet handy is a great way to remember what you’ve responded to and what still needs attention. Also, you can use programs like Hootsuite to monitor messages and mentions on all of your social media platforms in one place.

Sound like a lot of work? Main Street Hub can do it for you. Get started here.

2. Personalize your responses

Whether you’re answering a review on Google, a Facebook wall post, or a request on Twitter, it’s essential to personalize your response. Including the customer’s name at the start of your response is a great way to show that you are paying attention and care about each individual that you interact with online. You should also mention specific details about the customer’s experience in your response: the more personalized the better. It shows that you value customer feedback and that you genuinely care about their concerns.

Sometimes, however, these reviews and messages can be negative representations of your business. If the post or review is particularly sensitive or inflammatory, respond publicly and consider following up in a private message ensure that the matter can be resolved.

3. Cross-promote resolutions

Cross-promotion is the fun part about using social media to elevate your customer service. When an issue is resolved, and you have made a current or potential customer happy with your excellent customer service, share that interaction with your fans and followers! You can share positive reviews from Google and Yelp on Twitter and Facebook, retweet resolved issues on Twitter so all of your followers can see it, or share a productive conversation with a customer on Facebook. It’s a great way to show your audience that you take pride in your customer service and that you are truly using social media channels to extend your customer service online.