Here's a simple way to address a social media review that is less than stellar. In this case I did not have any business relationship with Jenny. I acknowledged the reviewer and through the response I a) implied that this review may have been without basis, and b) showed interest in working through the issue.
Other small businesses struggle with this issue, and next to finding time to manage a social media site with thoughtful content of various media types, this is the reason why they choose not to participate in social media.
In summary, take the good with the bad, and know that the bounty of good will dwarf the bad.
Directory Listing? What's that?
Directory listings with the data collection giants listed here are important to small business owners as they will improve your online visibility with the general public. It also adds a level of assurance to viewers that a business is legitimate when they see a VERIFIED listing on these sites.
Here's a short list of leading directory listing providers. Click on the hyperlink to find their registration page.
Here's what I mean by VERIFIED. This is a Bing Places verification screen. What? Published in 2 weeks? Yes, it takes time for the Bing administrative crew to officially verify your business listing.
Their map had pinned my place of business in Texas! The associated address was in Michigan (at least they got that much right). They have a button on the verification page that allowed me to move the pin on the map from Texas to Michigan. Good job! (When I checked the listing a few weeks later they had corrected my listing.)
Google will send you a postcard with a verification code. This is a slow process, but it is their way of verifying that you are who you say you are. Don't throw out the postcard thinking it is junk mail, as it will require that you send another request for a postcard, delaying the verification even longer.
Below you will see the results of search inquiries for BTG Solutions on Bing, Google, YP (Yellow Pages) and Manta.
Once you have your listings verified with these directories, your business will be on the map and will be featured more prominently by these search engines that service virtually all online users.
Now that you have created your Facebook business page (see Facebook Business Page for Startups) let's move on to the meat of what this can do for your small business - grow your audience. Growing your audience through any social media channel is dependent on "Engaging" content. Know your audience and give them scoops, interesting facts, personal stories, tips, and opportunities to share all of the above with their friends. When your audience likes or shares your content your audience grows organically, without lifting a finger AND they are qualified connections who see value in your content.
Let's think about our social calendar - social media that is. Like other repetitive tasks in our lives, at home and at work, we may need to have a calendar to keep us, or our social media champion, on track and on task.
Social Media is demanding if done purposefully with quality content. Guy Kawasaki, author of several social media books including "What the +", recently shared several key points with a Hubspot webinar audience.
If I had to choose the top 3 key points it would be as follows:
1. Content is the trump card. Original content with flair and imagery is ideal. However it is fair to curate good content from your favorite online sources and to re-tweet (please remember to give a nod to the author/source).
Guy also provided a tip for those who feel they may be missing a geographical segment of their audience due to time zone changes. On Twitter, he re-posts the same information to catch those folks who are were not awake and online when the prior post went live. His experience tells him that most people do not go back in their postings; they look at what is near the top and then they move forward.