Does your small business have regulars? You know, those same customers who come in each week to shop, eat, or play. By now you probably know them by name. You may even know their kids’ names. Over time, you will learn more about your customers, and they will learn more about you. You value their business and that shows in the relationship you have built with them. You have earned their trust.
Earning the trust of your online followers is just as important as earning the trust of the customers you see face-to-face! After all, nearly two thirds of Americans have accounts on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Building and growing your small business relationships online is more relevant than ever. Your followers can become your brand ambassadors, or advocates for your small business in the community. So shouldn’t you be treating your online community like you treat your in person one?
Here are 3 easy yet effective ways to build your small business online relationships:
- Respond to reviews. Responding to reviews shows your followers how much you care. You would address these type of comments directly in person; therefore, addressing comments online is no different. Take the time to address the reviewer, their feedback, and use it as a learning experience. Make it a point to discuss important reviews with your team and, if the review was negative, use it as opportunity to make improvements! You may not even realize that there are other customers who feel the same way, but may be too shy to say it.
- Engage with your check-ins. Social media sites allow users to share their location with their networks by checking-in or adding a location to posts. Engaging with people who have visited your business is a simple yet smart gesture. When you like and comment on your customer check-ins, you are humanizing your online presence which goes a long way in earning your followers trust. You can even use check-ins as content by sharing it on your business page later!Also, being able to view your business through your customer’s eyes will help connect you to the customers experiences, wants, and needs.
- The power of thank you. This is a big one! You would thank your customers face-to-face, so do it online! Expressing your gratitude towards your online community helps solidify the trust you have worked so hard to earn. Saying thank you adds a personal touch to their online experience with you. Remember, where would your small business be without your customers? So say thanks and invite them back again soon!
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