Social Marketing: It’s All About the Relationship

Building relationships is key to a successful social media marketing campaign

When it comes to marketing, the approach may be different than it was ten years ago, but the basic idea has never changed. Marketing is about reaching out to your target audience, finding out what they need, providing it to them and building up good relationships so that they come back again (and hopefully spread the word about your products).

As a social media marketer, this last part is critical. With the advent of Facebook and its peers, marketers initially seemed to get lost in the thrill of seeing who could collect the most friends. Maybe some friends would drop off here and there, but the goal was simply to have the most likes and the biggest network. Before long, though, these marketers realized that their numbers were dropping because the friends they had collected just didn’t want to be a part of their group anymore. Attention wasn’t being paid to them. So despite the influxes of new friends, marketers were losing their most valuable assets in droves.
Today, companies and social media marketers are realizing the importance of quality over quantity when it comes to social media. One good customer promoting a company’s products to friends can be worth 10, 20 or even 100 new customers.

Marketing is returning to its roots and realizing that the concept of good relationships must be maintained at all times. In fact, Facebook realized this some time ago, beta testing a Pay-to-Promote platform in New Zealand throughout much of 2012. The basic concept is that users can pay $7 to have their posts “promoted” on their friends’ Facebook pages, moving their comments up on news feeds so that they stay visible for a given length of time.

The beta was apparently pretty successful, because in October, the feature was made available to a limited number of users in the United States. Facebook hasn’t confirmed if this will be a permanent feature or even if the price will be set at $7, but the fact that it is seeing a fair amount of use shows that keeping oneself visible and actively working to engage others is a top priority with today’s businesses.

The question is, how do companies keep up with the friends they have? There are several approaches out there and marketers are becoming more and more creative with them each day, but essentially the idea is to treat customers as friends instead of clients. Don’t try to blatantly sell them anything or barrage them with loud, obnoxious marketing material. Reach out to them on a personal level. Tell them a little about the daily goings-on at your business; share some tips that are either common knowledge in your industry or that you found out about by accident. Engaging anecdotes are a great way to make customers feel like they’re more than just another dollar sign — they’re actually your friends.

Some other approaches include:

Asking questions: Actively engage your customers with questions. Not only do they appreciate that you asked their opinion, but you typically receive ideas that you might never have thought of on your own. If you have a landscaping company, you might ask what their favorite feature on a lawn is, or if you have a baking company or restaurant, ask them what their favorite cake combination would be. By asking their opinion, you make them feel more like a part of your business and this, in turn, engenders loyalty.

Keep up with their questions: The flip side of this is that you should always make it an effort to respond to your clients. Whether they’re replying to your question or asking a question of their own, leaving customers hanging with no response makes them feel as though you don’t really care. A few minutes a day spent responding to questions goes a long way in building relationships and trust.

Play some games: Throwing in a friendly competition every once in a while is a great way to get your Facebook friends more involved. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated, either. It could be as simple as asking a trivia where the first person to respond correctly gets an online coupon or gift certificate to your business, or the first person to post a picture of their pet using your product gets a prize.

Pictures build networks: Speaking of pictures, photo contests are also a great way to build your social network. By posting tagged photos, those images not only appear on your page but on the tagged person’s page as well, and when their friends see it they might pass it on to more friends. A monthly photo contest could do wonders for your network and also helps to keep your customers engaged.

What other ways have you found to promote your social media sites? What has been the most difficult aspect of building online relationships for you? Are there any mistakes you’ve made or ill-received approaches you’ve taken in the past that you’ve learned from?

Working with storage unit users in 34 of the 50 the United States, Tim Eyre helps customers store their stuff in places like the Greenhill Rd, West Chester self storage facility.

Filed in: Internet Marketing, Marketing, Social Media
Want to submit your own guest post? Visit our guest posting guidelines page.

You might like :

Are You Making These Classic Social Media Mistakes? Are You Making These Classic Social Media Mistakes?
Marketing Strategies for Trade Show Success Marketing Strategies for Trade Show Success
Four Tips for Successful Internet Marketing Four Tips for Successful Internet Marketing
A Million People Talking About Your Facebook Page? A Million People Talking About Your Facebook Page?

Leave a Reply

Submit Comment

© 2013 Geek Business. All rights reserved. XHTML / CSS Valid.