Social media has been a hot topic lately, and with good reason.  It has been the #1 online activity since at least 2011, and new popular sites seem to pop up weekly, though the heavyweights remain the same.  Businesses can leverage these sites for customer interaction (referred to as engagement), dialogue, promotions, and whatever else they can think of.  There is no wrong way to use it – unless you alienate people.

The problem is that managing social media accounts full time is a full time job – just take a look Monster or Workopolis.  Posting new content every day might seem easy in the beginning, but 2 weeks later what is left to say?  How do you keep the engagement up? Most business owners don’t have time to figure that out while still running their business too.  And that’s exactly why those positions exist. Creating engaging content on a consistent basis takes an understanding of the market and your client base as well as the general environment of social media as a whole.

Also, in our opinion, there is another never mentioned benefit of a well maintained social media campaign, and it dovetails with reputation management.  If you have taken to time to interact with your customers and potential customers over time, and hence have built a positive reputation with them, you have a established a strong two-communication channel.  This will benefit you in several ways should a harsh negative review come along.   That’s because if someone wants to complain they most likely will go directly through your social media sites rather than an outside source.

The first is that this new activity on an established account props that account up in the search results.  So when someone searches the business by name they see the social media page, as opposed to a negatively titled forum link, or a page on RipOffReport.  And even if they do, the strength of your social media account will out rank the negative site, keeping it low in the search results.

Next, most businesses have (much) greater than 90% satisfaction rate, but if you are not interacting with those customers the only ones who comment are the unhappy ones. If you are interacting with your market, you’ll have a group of supporters ready to defend you against unwarranted statements.

Finally, it gives you an opportunity to resolve the issue and have those results made publicly viewable – further raising your reputation.  While this last step could be done on other sites, it’s better to have it on your social media accounts so as not to strengthen a post titled “XXX Ripped Me Off!!!” and have that stick in the results when searching the business name.