Relationship Marketing: How to Use Social Media to Build Relationships with Customers

relationship marketing on social mediaRelationship marketing is a strategy designed to foster customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement. Developing strong connections with customers is the goal of relationship marketing and this means that the information provided to customers and clients should be directly suited to their needs and interests so as to encourage open communication.This approach often results in increased word-of-mouth activity, repeat business and a willingness on the customer’s part to provide information to you the business owner.

How to Use Social Media to Build Relationships with Customers

Social Media Marketing is one of the many marketing strategies that small businesses should be engaged in, and when done effectively, can increase your customer base, give you a position of authority in the marketplace, and increase your brand recognition.

In all likelihood, your customer or clients and prospects are already using social media, sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and Pinterest. The challenge for business owners is to identify where the majority of customers and prospects have an active presence so that they can be there as well.

The benefits to using social media to build relationships with customers are many.

1)      Businesses that are active on social media and are using effective social media marketing strategies are able to connect directly with their existing customers and work towards developing new customers.

You are able to connect with your customers in real time and in a more dynamic and personalized way.  Direct interactions and contact with customers that’s engaging, interesting and co-operative both help to build up customer trust and create customer loyalty.

You have the opportunity to make your customers feel appreciated.  When you do this on a social media platform that they use every day, you will see an increase in repeat customer transactions!

One of the purposes of any business marketing campaign is to reach out to as many potential customers as is possible. Social media websites are extremely popular with online users, meaning your business will have access to a very large number of people to market to.  It also means that your message can reach large numbers of prospects at the same time. Take a look with me at some of these statistics –

Recent studies have indicated that Facebook has more than 1.26 billion users and that more than 2.5 million websites have directly integrated with it. YouTube sees more than 1 billion unique users each and every month, and Twitter has more than 1 billion users itself! More than 525 million people are currently using Google Plus and that number grows everyday as well.

2)      Social media allows you to create attention for your services and products. Any time your business offers a new product or service you will want to bring as much attention as possible to it. Social media marketing allows your company to showcase your newest products or services all over the web. It also lets you create a vast network of interested parties, through which you can create this attention.

3)      Social media allows you to interact with your customers.  With social media you can do more than just showcase your latest advertisements to your customers. It lets you interact with them. Online users are always bombarded by banners and advertisements, so they want to see something different. You can update them on what’s happening in your business and how you and your products can support them.  This also provides you a forum to address customer service questions and address concerns before they become bigger issues.

Understanding how to use social media to build relationships with customers is an integral part of doing business and one that should be included in marketing your small business.  It can be confusing to do it alone.  If you’d like to get some help on using Social Media to build relationships, please go to my Home Page at http://yvonneajones.com and complete the Quiz. I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Build Relationships with Customers and See Your Business Grow

All lasting business is built on friendship” is a quotation from Alfred A. Montopert.  Do you agree?  Every successful business is built on relationships.  It may not appear to be a realistic statement, but in reality when you do a careful analysis, you’ll see that the gradual progression starts from when you build relationships with customers, become their friends, or at the least someone they trust, this opens you up to clearing a path that can lead to business growth and success.

This is the kind of relationship that businesses should seek to develop with their customers from the outset.  Small businesses especially can get an even greater handle on building relationships with their customers as they have the advantage of being able to communicate with a smaller group of people. If they are a brick and mortar business, they have the further advantage of face to face contact.

Loyal Customer and Raving Fan

Recently I was at a networking event and a gentleman began talking about his bank.  He went on and on and the expression on his face was a delight to see.    Read more>>>

How do you manage customer relationships in your business?  Do you have a system or do you just go with the flow?

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LinkedIn – Benefits of Publishing and Sharing Content on LinkedIn

LinkedIn recently announced that it was opening up its publishing platform to all of its users on a gradual, phased-basis.  Previously it was opened up to a relatively few Influencers, like Richard Branson, President Barak Obama, Bill Gates, and so on.

According to says Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content Products at LinkedIn, “One of our big, strategic bets for the company is for LinkedIn to become the definitive, professional publishing platform…  We do this because we want LinkedIn to be the place where members can become productive, successful professionals – not just when you’re trying to find a job, or search for another person.”

What are the benefits of publishing and sharing content on LinkedIn?

Some immediate benefits include: your posts will get in front of a larger audience.  If you’ve been struggling to get more readers to your blog, this should change things; especially if you’ve built a large number of connections on LinkedIn.  A follow-up to that is that your brand will get more exposure.
I found that this article, which made some great points on the benefits of publishing and sharing content on LinkedIn.   Why and How you Should Publish and Share Content on LinkedIn –  You’ll see that a few reminders are given, such as:

–  It’s important to know your audience

–  Why you should participate in the Network

–   How you can take advantage of sharing tools.

Have you thought about the benefits of publishing and sharing on LinkedIn?  Do you plan to start?  Because this is relatively new, I’ve not personally taken advantage of it yet, but it’s on my schedule to start this quarter.

Please share your successes and challenges in the comments area if you’ve already begun.  If you’ve not and you need tips and strategies, just leave a comment with your message and I’ll be sure to share them as soon as I get started.

 

 

 

Why Grow Your Email List Quickly

grow email list quicklyIf you have been around Internet Marketing for any length of time, you’ve seen promotions, or maybe even emails delivered right into your Inbox that proclaim the fortune that can be yours without having an email list. In some cases it is possible to make sales before you have your own list, but when those people buy they do go on someone’s list. Why not start to grow your email list quickly?

A responsive email list is a list of subscribers who have ‘opted-in’ to receive emails from you. They’ve signed up because they’re interested in the content and offers you can give them. This list is made up of people who’ve raised their hand to say that it’s ok for you to communicate with them in writing, and it’s a very valuable part of your business.  There is truth that “The fortune is in the (responsive) list.”

7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Your Email List Quickly

1.  An Entrance to Your Sales Funnel
When a person subscribes to your list, they’re starting a relationship with you and your business. This is a good way to draw prospects into your sales funnel. From here, you can engage your subscribers with valuable information and offers.

  1. Relationship Building
    Because email marketing is a more direct and personal approach, it’s a great way to build a relationship between you and your customers, which is what all businesses need and want.
  1. Educate your Contacts

In addition to you blog, your emails are valuable for educating your subscribers and responding to questions they may ask.

  1. Feedback

Email marketing isn’t just a one-way interaction. You also get feedback from your subscribers on how you’re doing. This feedback comes from your email marketing analytics and also directly when subscribers send you messages or when you ask them questions.

5.  Personalize Your Marketing
When someone opts in to your list, they’re making a mental commitment. It’s not the same as casually dropping in on your blog or website. A list creates a personal connection between your company and your customers.

6.  Exclusive Offers
The offers you make through your email list are valuable to your subscribers partly because they’re exclusive. That is, you can only get them by joining the list. This creates a special “club” for your customers, a kind of loyalty program.

7.  An Asset to Your Business
A list of subscribers adds value to your company. Your email list can be calculated as an asset belonging to your business. If you have a large and responsive list, this can help to boost your profits as you build the relationship then make them offers that you know will appeal to them.

Before starting your list, it’s important to decide exactly what you’d like to do with it. Is it going to be an entrance into your sales funnel, a vehicle to build your brand’s reputation, or a means of profiting directly? If you define your purpose well, you’ll better understand why you need to grow your email list quickly, and what you need to do in order to keep your subscribers looking forward to your emails.

Nicole Dean and Melissa Ingold have created an excellent training package on Growing Your List Fast on their authority site, and if you’re interested in how to grow your email list quickly, I  recommend that you go over to their coaching site and get that report then start growing your email list quickly.

Are you confused about the different areas of Online Marketing?  Do you have specific questions on how to market your business online? Go ahead and fill out the questionnaire and I’ll contact you to schedule your complimentary Business Breakthrough Strategy Session as soon as mutually convenient.

Do Your Milestones Support Your Destination?

road to destination; road to goalAs we drove across Florida from the east to west coast and back my thoughts were on milestones. The trip is approximately 150 miles each way, and my way of dealing with long trips is to break them up and assign various towns a milestone which I mentally cross off as we travel.

What is a milestone? Wikepedia describes  milestones as “…provide reference points along the road. This can be used to reassure travelers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either distance traveled or the remaining distance to a destination.”

What does this have to do with your business? A lot! Let’s explore this together.

  1. Starting Point and Destination: Every journey has a starting point and unless you’re the type of adventurous traveler who stops anywhere your mind tells you to, you will have a destination in mind and a planned route on how to get there.

As a small business owner or entrepreneur you must have a plan for your business. I’m not talking about the kind of plan you may need to take to a bank to seek financing. This kind of plan usually ends up in a drawer and is never looked at again.

I’m referring to a basic Business Plan that outlines your mission and your vision, your purpose, who your ideal clients are, how you will serve them…and your destination…your end goal.

  1. Your Road Map: This is the Action Plan referred to above. This document should include your short-term and long-term goals along with the steps to reach these goals.

Sometimes you have a route all mapped out, and along the way you encounter a blockade or an unexpected barrier so you may have to make a detour. The same is true of your journey as a business owner. How you deal with the detours and blocks that arise in your business will determine if you forge ahead with your goal or if you go out of business. This is where your Purpose will play a significant role as it is what will keep you going when unexpected negative situations arise.

  1. Milestones: The Milestones in your business are the steps that will take you to your goal. Just as milestoneI’ve associated certain towns with milestone numbers so I know that I’m getting close to my destination, you need written steps to lead you to your goal. Under each of those larger steps would be a breakdown of the smaller steps that support each milestone.

These milestones are the steps that what will let you know if you’re keeping on track to take you to your destination…your Goal.

  1. Your Destination – Your Goal: Your destination is your goal or finish line that allows you to live the dream that you have for yourself and your business. Keep in mind that your destination or goal can also have different levels of achievement. For example, a Solopreneur may have a goal of building a consulting business with 25 regular clients and an income of $150,000 per year. What if you achieved the goal of 25 clients but your income has not reached $150,000? You’d have to devise a new action plan with new milestones to arrive at this goal.

Remember that a goal is just a dream if you fail to write it down. Do your milestones support your destination? Do you have a clear destination or goal for your business?  If you need to stop and assess where you are and create a clear direction as to where you’re going, go ahead and complete the Breakthrough Quiz so we can schedule a time to talk.