Chances are, you or someone you know will buy a new smartphone for someone they love this Christmas. As you’re dropping a few hundred dollars on an iPhone that’ll probably have a cracked screen by Easter, you should think about the Showing her how functional it is massive opportunities – and increased accountability – the rise in smartphone users has for your business.

We’ve posted before on the power of online reviews; 8 in 10 people say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Reading through others’ experiences at a restaurant or clothing store can feel oddly intimate, like you’re talking to a friend, even though you’ve never met the stranger who posted on Yelp. Humans empathize with one another pretty easily, so reading the details of someone’s encounter with a rude waiter or condescending salesperson is powerful, and will undoubtedly decrease the likelihood that you’ll become a customer. On the other hand, hearing about a great experience could be all you need to decide to take your business to a particular establishment.

Increasingly, business are recognizing the power of online recommendations and learning to use social media interactions in their favor. From 2011 to 2012, Southwest Airlines saw a 75% increase in conversations and postings on their social media during the holidays, and they expect even more customers to use Facebook and Twitter to ask questions this year. As more and more people buy into smartphones, customers’ expectations for real-time answers and engagement will only grow – as will their intolerance for brands that refuse to embrace social media.

Looking ahead to 2014, it’s a smart move to ask whether your company has invested enough in building up a following on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and any other social sites that are relevant to your industry. Since 85% of people 18-29 currently use at least one social website, cultivating this base of loyal customers is your best insurance against losses over the long run.

Speaking of insurance, $6 a month might be worth it on that smartphone, too.

 

Distribion’s solutions make it simple for your brand to grow its own social media following, including features like automatic campaign scheduling and easy permissions management. Learn more about our platform, then contact us for a personalized assessment of your business’ needs.

About the Author: Sharon Eliza Nichols created the Facebook group “I judge you when you use poor grammar.”, which grew to almost 500,000 members. She turned the content into two books, “I judge you when you use poor grammar.” and “More Badder Grammar!”, which have sold 90,000+ copies. Sharon has a law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law, she’s been featured in The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and she works in marketing in Virginia.

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