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The Alternative Board Blog

Social Media Best Practices: The Power of @ for Your Business

Apr. 3, 2013 | Posted by The Alternative Board

How Social Media Adds to Your Customer Service

Today's fun fact: it happens to be the 40th anniversary of the first mobile phone conversation. Forty years later, the age of the mobile phone is here... and there... and everywhere. People travel with smartphones with apps allowing them to interact with your place from two fronts: personal and "social." Sometimes they are doing it simultaneously as well; ever see a customer in your office thumbing their phone like mad during a conversation or service lull? Yep.

Fact: If you have customers, you are a topic in social media whether by business name or your specific service/industry.

Like it or not, your company's name is occurring next to the @ or # symbols in the social media universe. As a wise social media marketer once said, "There is a conversation going on about you whether you're there or not. Why wouldn't you want to have a voice in it?"

Personal Anecdote Dead Ahead Into the Easter weekend, I traveled with my family to Houston to attend a family wedding and have a brief vacation. Since My Precious (that's my cell phone's nickname) is equipped with mobile check-in apps, I did my due diligence as a social media addict and "checked in" at our resort.

I infrequently get social media acknowledgement of my presence from the actual place (though that frequency is always growing), so my primary purpose is to glean check-in deals or a coveted app "badge."

Thus I was pleased to get a tweet back from the resort expressing their appreciation for my stay and extending any offering in their power to make it an enjoyable experience. 

(I was additionally amped at this response since the resort is managed by my stepfather. Two thumbs up, Greg!)

For those of you who like analogies, this is akin to a resort employee coming up in person to warmly greet me and let me know their wish is my command. That, my friends, is solid customer service from the social media realm of the @ symbol.

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Fact: If you have customers, you are a topic in social media. 

Whether by business name or your specific service/industry, people are tweeting and updating about experiences directly related to your company. There is a power behind that @ symbol, but only if you take it up and use it. Listen. Engage. Respond. Don't be scared by the publicity of the conversation; embrace it as an opportunity to meet your customer from both fronts, personal and social, and give them that double-wow of excellent service.

A recent study from The Alternative Board revealed that 64% of small business owners are monitoring their social media accounts only one time per week or less. How often do you check in on your social platforms?

What are some ways you could engage a customer (happy or disgruntled) if they mention you in social media? Share your ideas below, and you may pick up some new ones!

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Written by The Alternative Board

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