The value of social media

Social media sites can prove to be a valuable platform for your business

I recognized the value of social media to promote and sell products several years ago and I am impressed by the successes I have seen locally, especially businesses using social media exclusively as an advertising tool. I have recently started exploring social media as a customer service tool.

If you already have a following, a personal connection with your customers is invaluable. You’ll build loyalty, and your social media followers will spread the word through Facebook shares and Twitter retweets. By making yourself accessible, consumers know they can contact you directly by way of Facebook and Google+ comments or Twitter mentions.

Engage your followers with pictures, videos and interactive polling. Answer questions, and respond to concerns. These efforts work wonders for your company’s image, and customers often feel appreciated.

You can take your products and services directly to the consumer. If you have an idea, bounce it off of your Twitter followers. Post your concept directly to your Facebook page and let the feedback roll in. Followers and fans could help you generate ideas and improve on existing ones. (Look for this on the Chamber Facebook page as we start to open up the OCP discussion and roll out policy ideas to take to government.)

The feedback you acquire can be very useful. You can identify trends early, and your customers will feel involved in your business’s decision-making.

Use caution and pay attention because consumers can mention you in a tweet, you have little control over how your company name is tossed back and forth among social networks. Know that when you invite feedback, bad comments will roll in right along with the good ones. However, don’t let this discourage you from engaging the users who could be good for your business.

Customer service is a two-way interaction. They express concerns, and you have a responsibility to quickly respond.  Gone are the days of grumpy complaints sent by mail (or e-mail, for that matter) and a followup form letter with an attached coupon. Concerns are now aired publicly, and many times the response should be, as well.

If you spot a comment that warrants a response, answer it publicly so that other users can see that you’re quick to address concerns. Go even further. If somebody drops you a friendly note or a mention, it’s OK to send a public note of thanks or a retweet.

If you pay attention to your followers and respond with care, social media sites can serve as a very useful platform for your company.



Kim Burden is the executive director of the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce


Just Posted

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
UDPATE: Devastation evident in aftermath of massive Whiskey Creek gas station blaze

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Most Read