Whether it be a tasty dish at a restaurant, a great venue for live music, or a perfectly poured cappuccino from the local cafe, people love to share their retail and leisure experiences online… Both negative and positive. Many consumers are eager and willing to post their experiences online, social media platforms provide a consistent source of customer feedback.

As consumers, we want to make sure we invest our time and money wisely – so we search for feedback on these experiences online. Often times we rely on the suggestions and feedback from other consumers before choosing what stores and restaurants to visit, or which businesses we endorse. The Yellow Social Media Report outlines that on average, people would expect to read 5 reviews before making a purchase decision. The larger the feedback census, the more constructively a business can be in catering to their customers.

Before the ubiquity of mobile media and the internet, consumer communication was primarily provided through word of mouth. Over the last decade however, the increasing popularity of social media has provided a more efficient medium for consumer <–> business communication, which has become highly beneficial for both parties. Businesses can not only read and listen to the feedback provided to them via social networks, but communicate directly to the customers – and then adjust their actions accordingly in order to cater for their needs.

This new business and customer relationship can be extremely beneficial when nurtured properly. Attention must be paid to the consumer no matter if they are Facebooking, Tweeting or Instagramming. So if your restaurant’s dirty tables aren’t being attended to, or your customers are stuck in long queues – chances are they are broadcasting the fact on their social profiles… So be sure to nurture this relationship with a tool like Local Measure – that allows you to listen to and engage directly with your customers.