A few keystrokes on social media can have a powerful effect on your business.
Did you know:
- Over 80 percent of potential guests read local business reviews before deciding where to eat. Nearly 70 percent trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
- A positive review makes 68 percent of consumers more likely to visit a business. Meanwhile, 87 percent of people won’t consider a restaurant with low ratings.
- A 1-star increase in online reputation yields up to a 9 percent increase in revenue.
This makes regular monitoring of your online reputation mandatory. These five tricks will ensure your social presence isn’t driving your customers to competitors.
- Run a search - It’s been said that your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what Google says it is. Online search results are today’s digital storefront, and you need to make sure you’re creating a good first impression. Run a Google search on your name and your restaurant’s name. What types of comments, news, and images pop up? If you don’t want customers to see things that should have stayed in Vegas, don’t post them on your social media pages.
- Help customers find you - Make sure your name, phone number, menus, URLs, and operating hours are consistent across all of your online touchpoints (website, social media, local listing sites, etc.). This ensures that when someone searches for your business online, they can find you—as well as accurate information about what you offer.
- Respond to reviews - A 1-star difference on Yelp between you and a competitor represents about $90,000 in lost sales each year for restaurants earning $1 million annually. So it’s important to nurture good reviews.
Over 50 percent of customers leaving reviews expect a business response within a week. Thus, whenever someone sings your praises, go out of your way to thank them. Positive reviews are a more important purchase consideration for consumers than discounting or business location.
If a customer leaves a negative review, don’t ignore it. When you respond respectfully to a negative review, people are more likely to visit your business. Meanwhile, online complaints that go unanswered make consumers distrust your business. Instead take a non-defensive attitude and apologize publicly to the customer. Offer to find a solution, and invite the individual to contact you to resolve the problem together. When a business tries to make things right, 89 percent of consumers are willing to change a review.
- Make your website current, mobile friendly - More than half of consumers view websites with their smartphones. Is your website mobile-optimized? No one wants to squint to read a menu or scroll 10 times to find your phone number. Also, when was the last time you updated your site? Does it showcase your current specials and menus? When consumers see old, stale content, they are less inclined to visit.
- Auto post and monitor content - If you aren’t already using a social media management platform, you may want to start. It’s a time saver by consolidating all of your social media site content in one place for you to review. It can show you which posts are popular, shared, liked, and commented on. It also empowers you to post to multiple social channels at once.
Everyday consumers are window shopping your digital storefront. How you manage your social reputation either invites them in the door or sends them someplace else. Use these simple steps to build a positive online presence.
Heartland provides entrepreneurs with software-driven technology to manage and grow their business. The company serves more than 400,000 merchants nationwide, delivering trusted solutions for payment, payroll and human resources, point of sale, customer engagement and lending. Heartland is a leading industry advocate of transparency, merchant rights and security. Heartland is a Global Payments Company (NYSE: GPN). Learn more at heartland.us.