Love 'em or hate 'em, social media and review sites aren’t going away anytime soon. It’s time your company sees them for what they can be: Platforms to promote your service excellence and interact with existing and prospective clients.

Your clients are your best marketers. Take it from Normandy Remodeling, of Hinsdale, Ill. I recently interviewed their marketing director, Kristina Ferrigan, for our blog and learned that Normandy is a strong proponent of empowering clients to share their remodeling experiences online. It has helped Normandy win business and has positioned the company's employees as experts in the industry.

Says Ferrigan: “Homeowners who want to remodel with Normandy will call and request to work with specific members of our team because our clients state in reviews what a pleasure working with that individual has been and the added knowledge and value that the team member brought to their remodel project.”

Encourage your most evangelical clients to take to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Houzz to post about their remodel. (Brief advertising message: A third-party service like ours captures client feedback and enables you to share that feedback on various social and review sites.)

Having a presence on social media and review sites can strengthen your brand, but it can also serve as a platform for both existing and prospective clients to engage with your business and post questions.

Tweeting answers to client questions comes naturally to exterior remodeler Power Home Remodeling Group. This Chester, Pa.–based company uses social media and review platforms as other avenues to provide customer care.

During an interview for our blog, Power’s director of marketing communications, Bennett Andelman, shared why the company feels it’s important to communicate with clients online.

“If we’re doing something well, our customers will share and it will promote our brand to prospective customers,” Andelman says. “If we make a mistake, we’re able to address the situation and provide a solution in a public way, which can also help with prospective customers.”

Empowering clients to share their story and delivering social customer service are two important components to thriving in today’s reputation economy. But the most critical element is your relationship with clients. Homeowners will only endorse your company online if you’ve developed a great relationship and continue to nurture that even after the project is completed.

Be kind to your clients, and they’ll return the favor online.

—Erica England is the marketing manager for GuildQuality, a member-based company focused on customer-satisfaction surveying, reporting, and benchmarking for the remodeling and building industries.