Although many businesses have opted to put their businesses online using websites and social media platforms, up to a quarter have no online presence at all. A recent study by ComRes showed that 24% of London firms have no online facilities. The UK economy could receive a boost of £92 Billion if companies fully develop their digital potential Virgin Media Business. Social media is fast becoming one of the most successful ways to heighten a businesses brand and presence, showcase its products and services, connect with the customer and generate growth.

If the business is listening to feedback, reviews, trends and analytics they have a unique channel to understand so much more than just using it for marketing and promoting the business. Social media should be treated as a fundamental component of the business incorporating branding, a financial driver, developing and growing the customer base, international reach and the ability to do business 24/7.

Now you are online, what do you do?

When a business isn’t engaging online it usually means they have felt it would be too expensive to set up, they didn’t have the skills to set themselves up in the first place or they were fearful of the risks associated with online attacks to their brand or reputation. If the financial and skills elements have been overcome and an online presence has been established it is important the business is interacting meaningfully across the social media platforms. Without engaging and listening to your customers in an insightful way you could be missing out on the benefits and actually end up doing harm to your business.

It may be that simply listening to the conversations is enough. Gaining insight into you customers thoughts and opinions can provide useful research into how you shape you products or business. However if you do encounter negative feedback or complaints you should know that responding in a timely manner with a professional tone is vital. Your objective should be take the conversation offline as quickly as possible aiming to understand the issue and correct any mistakes. Generally about 90% of all customer issues can be resolved with good customer service. If you have resolved the issues and made the customer happy this can often translate to a positive online review which will further improve your brand.

Protect & manage your reputation

Your reputation is one of your businesses greatest assets. Once you are online you need to protect that asset in the same way you would protect your products, infrastructure and employees. The online world has enabled consumers to voice their opinions in a way that they couldn’t or wouldn’t previously. Power has shifted towards them as they wield the ability to speak to a potentially huge audience and say things that they might not in a face to face situation. It is not difficult for a business to manage and maintain its online reputation. The difficulty arises when the business doesn’t pay attention to the conversations and miscalculates the impact and scale of the potential problem when not managed effectively.

The number of conversations and individuals involved, the diversity in comments, complaints and negative feedback can present a challenge. However if you know what is being said by monitoring the conversations you can respond in an accurate, timely and professional manner. There are products you can use like google analytics that will give you an appreciation of your online presence. However they will not give you the full picture and it just takes one poor review or comment to go viral before your brand is seriously damaged. To be fully protected, a business needs human analysts in conjunction with listening software to monitor their online presence 24/7. Talk to RiskEye today, we’ll fully monitor and protect you to ensure your online presence is working to enhance and grow your business.