We’ve yet to meet a business owner or a store manager who isn’t extremely busy. It’s a grueling job with tons of details to remember and tasks on your mind. Good owners and managers know their trade very well. They know how to select the right merchandise or build a great service offering. They know how to manager staff well. They know how to attract customers. In this new world, they must also know about social media.
The tricky part about social media and the online review space is that it changes so quickly. Not only do new social networks pop up regularly, existing social networks continuously add and remove features and rewrite their usage policies. This can be quite frustrating for businesses. Once you’ve figured out how to use a review site or a social network to your advantage, it changes and you have to rethink your strategy. For example, Facebook used to show status updates from business pages to 10-16% of users who likes the page. When you made a post to your followers, you had a good notion of how many people will see it. A few months ago, Facebook changed its policy such that only 2-5% of followers will see a post. Just like that a page’s expected reach dropped by more than 50%. This is just one example. The complexity of online presence, review sites and social media will only continue to grow. It will be difficult to keep up without dedicating time monitoring this field.
One potential solution to this problem is to appoint or hire a dedicated resource in your organization to manage, monitor and update online review sites and social media. There are also third party agencies who will handle this for you. If you have a high volume of online reviews and don’t have the time to dedicate, hiring or contracting someone should be a course of action to consider. Remember that over 70% of consumers trust online reviews, so this will be an increasingly important part of your business. Online reviews determine your rating and, in many cases, your rating is directly tied to revenues.
That being said, business leaders still need to know the basics so they can evaluate and monitor their dedicated online presence resource. So how do you keep up even when you do have a dedicated resource? Each social network and review site has a blog. Subscribe to the blog updates of the networks that are relevant for you or just check in every few weeks. It won’t make you an expert, but you’ll be up on any basic changes and you’ll be able to discuss them with the person in your organization who is handling online reviews. You should meet with this person on at least a monthly basis. Review feedback and answers together, check on current rating status and discuss strategies for the future. Even when you outsource this aspect of the business or appoint an employee to handle it, keep your finger on the pulse.
1-2 hours a month of monitoring
1-2 hours a month of staying updated on social media developments