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It was recently said that social media has allowed recommendations to go on steroids, and that is absolutely true in the eyes of our social media agency. In particular, Facebook is becoming a destination for consumers to find out how their peers feel about local businesses, mainly due to its versatility as a platform for both, consumers & brands alike. Established businesses are not immune; people are just as apt to comment about a local institution as they are a brand new business. Where do they comment? Primarily, two locations.

Local Facebook Groups

Open and closed Facebook groups devoted to talking about local communities are rampant now. These pages can perform many functions; for example, sometimes there is a “neighborhood watch” or “buy-and-sell” focus. But more often than not, each one of these groups regularly sees its share of posts devoted to praising or slamming local businesses.

If such pages exist for your community, see for yourself; people love to share their experiences with the businesses in town, good and bad. Their comments are highly influential, and there are business owners with full waiting rooms who can vouch for that. Unfortunately, business owners with closed doors can vouch for it as well.

Facebook Business Pages

Nearly the same thing can be found on the Facebook pages maintained by the businesses themselves. Even if a business does not allow anyone else to create posts on the page, users can still comment – and they do, both positively and negatively.

Unlike Twitter, where a review is limited to 140 characters and is fleeting enough to have only a minimal impact, Facebook comments can be long – very long. The more others add their own comments to the thread, the longer the whole conversation stays in users’ news feeds. If the comment is positive, that’s great. If it isn’t, that can be very bad for the business.

Handling the Facebook Influence of Customers

Considering this new reality, it is incumbent on businesses and their social media agency staff to treat each customer like a potential online reviewer from the moment they walk in the door. It may be inconvenient, but it’s necessary. Anytime a customer writes a review, its influence could resonate powerfully.

17.02.2016


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