The Small World of the Big Web
Communities on the web are expanding consistently, making ratings from any social site as important as a traditional community’s word of mouth. Small town businesses hinge on gaining the support of local residents, much as online businesses rely on support from various groups, forums, and social networks. Navigating the small world of the big web requires attention to detail, individual conversation, and a personal touch.
Small World Tactics
A single conversation that discusses the negative or positive aspects of a business can make or break customer relations. Forums across the net discuss positive and negative business actions in detail. Making sure business representatives are available to reply to such discussions is absolutely essential.
Investing in personal communication for online forums and social network message boards allows small and large businesses to respond to both positive and negative reviews. Although speaking with individual consumers on a single site might seem time consuming, such conversations stay active for quite some time.
Search Engines and Customer Conversation
A single negative or positive comment can take just twenty to thirty minutes to respond to, but that same conversation can last for years. Since most forums and social groups keep postings on sites indefinitely, spending time on customer conversations can last for years. Such forums are searchable by search engines such as Google and Bing for months at a time.
A single Facebook group or topic-specific forum might only have a few hundreds or thousands of users, but that forum is readable by non-users searching for specific keywords. Your business and a term such as “negative” or “scam” put together directs searchers to specific postings and sites that have those terms on a message board, forum, or review page.
Responding to conversations does aid in creating personal report with many business customers, but those conversations must exist in the first place in order to respond. Creating threads about companies can be difficult, but the time is almost always worth it. Just a quick question about a product or service can start a conversation that lasts.
Keeping tabs on social networks is essential in building a customer base that is excited and dedicated to a small or a large business. Forum discussion and social network reputation is just as valuable as word of mouth in the brick and mortar world. Build the conversation. Join the conversation. Be the conversation.