How to use social media to compare web hosts

Why is social media so important in picking a web host?

Over the last few years, social media has grown to become an enormous part of our everyday lives. From reconnecting with old friends over Facebook, to following every Tweet your favorite celebrity spouts out. But social media isn’t just a way for people to communicate with each other, it’s also a great way to communicate with your favorite brands.

Before the internet age, brands were mostly faceless, and when dealing with individual customer service issues, could handle them with little to no public accountability. That all changed with the explosion of social media. As brands flocked to social media as a way to market to their customers, they also opened a direct line of communication with the public.For the first time in history, every customer, no matter how big or small, has a voice which can be heard by the entire world. Looking at a brand’s social media stats and feeds offer an unparalleled view into how customers feel about brands and how well those brands are responding to their needs.

How to read Social Media Stats

Facebook

  • Pay attention to how many “Likes” a brand has on Facebook. Facebook is the most popular social network in the world, and “Likes” represent a customer’s vote of confidence in a particular brand. “Likes” are also a good overall indication of how active a brand is in social media.
  • BEWARE! Although you can tell a lot about a brand by its number of “Likes” on Facebook, “Likes” are easily bought by a brand by incentivize a customer to “Like” them through advertising.

Twitter

  • Twitter is the preferred method of instant communication between brands and customers. You can get a good idea of the size of a brand by the amount of Twitter followers they have. Since any “@mention” of a brand on Twitter is public for the entire world to see, you can see how a brand values its reputation by how well it deals with customer complaints on Twitter.
  • BEWARE! It’s relatively easy for people to build Twitter “bots” that automatically Tweet certain brands with bogus praise and criticism. When reading a brand’s twitter feed, ask yourself if the Tweet sounds like a human, and look for to see if that Twitter user only Tweets about a certain brand ALL THE TIME.

Google+

  • Google+ is the newest social network on the block. Google+ is Google’s attempt at giving people search results that are more targeted to their individual tastes. It does this by comparing what you and your friends have “+1’d” and giving you search results that they think are best suited for you. While the amount of Google+1’s a brand will have will be much less than Facebook “Like’s,” Google+1’s should be treated with much higher regard because of its more technically savvy user base.

Social Media Chatter

The first thing to remember when looking at Social Media Chatter, is that problems happen all the time in web hosting. And while the severity and the frequency of the problems are very important, how a brand deals with the problem is paramount.

What to look for

  • Positive Feedback: It takes a lot of effort for someone to go out of their way to send a compliment to a brand. Pay attention to the amount of praise being thrown upon a brand, and remember that for every person that actually left positive feedback, there are probably hundreds more customers that are perfectly satisfied with their service but aren’t going to make the effort to write about it.
  • Irrational Customers: Look out for irrational customers that are just trying to be heard. Most problems in web hosting are caused by the customers. Most customers however, will scream at their web hosting provider on social media to get their attention. If someone seems to be screaming bloody murder, pay attention to what they’re complaining about, and how the web host responds to the issue. Nine times out of ten, customers are angry at a very minor issue, and once the web host deals with the customer, the customer will completely change their tone and thank them for their quick response.
  • Response time: Social media is public. When a customer writes a complaint about a brand on social media, and a brand doesn’t care enough to try to publicly address it, that says a lot about how a brand feels about its online reputation. Look at time stamps of complaints and time stamps of the responses.
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