The Better Business Bureau is kind of what people used before they could run to Facebook, Yelp and Twitter to share the good and bad experiences they’d had with certain businesses. The agency’s letter ratings and customer feedback served as a kind of Google Maps Reviews of the past, warning potential customers of a shady practitioner or giving archaic +1s to businesses that were known to treat their client base well.
So it’s probably only surprising that the BBB is recommending use of Facebook and other social networks to foster better customer relations in that it took until June of 2011 for the obvious connection to emerge. On their blog, the BBB’s chief spoke a bit about the benefits of using social media in business before the post segues a bit into best practices:
“Businesses can gain great insight about their consumers through their Facebook page. Looking at their responses and involvement on their page is a great indicator of the depth and to what degree they are reaching their audiences,” said Stephen A. Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Special graphics and applications aren’t a must, but could be considered to add a nice spice and to set the page apart from others in the business.”
The tips offered by the BBB are not groundbreaking- indeed, they’re somewhat standard, Social Media 101 type information. The BBB says Facebook business users should adhere to the following practices:
- Update your page frequently: As you know, a sparse and spotty Facebook page can give off the impression that a business isn’t on top of its game. Content is easy to source or create, and Facebook interactions are super short- so there’s no excuse to have an uneven presence on the network;
- Use images and video a lot: Some customers aren’t big on reading, and dynamic visuals can often flesh out your brand on Facebook or Twitter;
- Interact: Businesses that use social media solely to promote themselves without interacting with like-businesses and customers miss 90% of the point of Facebook. If you’re not commenting and offering insight on the actions of others, the media isn’t very social and you miss out on building relationships. Take a few minutes of your allotted social media time each day and see what your customers and competitors are up to to ensure a well-rounded social media strategy;
- Educate: People who resonate on social media tend to find out and share information that is very well targeted to their user base and contacts list. Information relative to your brand or business serves to create a much more dynamic Facebook presence, and frequent presentation of such will give your presence a bit more credibility and authority.
What do you find are the most useful practices a business can employ on Facebook? Do you follow any companies that really shine in this medium?