A  recent poll conducted by Razorfish reports that 71% of customers have been inspired to share product and service reviews.  This is just another indicator that Social Media is not knocking at the door, it is sitting at the kitchen table!

You can’t depend on traditional methods of marketing anymore.  You have to be inventive, proactive and responsive.  This new marketing genera will be your friend if you embrace it, but your foe if you avoid it.

Why is that?

Your potential customers are on-line researching you, your products and your prices  before you even know they exist.  As a business you have to know what they are finding when they search on-line.  If they are finding bad reviews on sites like Angieslist.com or yelp.com, you could be loosing customers very quickly.

Don’t let this negative effect turn you off; on the adverse side if you are getting posititve reviews, you are building a strong trust with that customer before they even walk in your door.  Good reviews will give you three fold the benefits that any ad will.

So What Do You Do?

Search your name and search your keywords.  Think like a potential customer so that you can see what they are seeing.  You will also want to update your listings on the review sites to ensure that the information is correct.  This will also help you SEO since you may gain a few new inbound links.

You can also setup blog alerts that will email you when a specific term (such as your business name) is searched.  You simply fill out the Blog Alert form and you are on your way to monitoring your social media exposure.