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Social media is no longer the playground of the young and restless “who have nothing better to occupy their spare time.” Instead, social media, in its various formats, has combined to form a significant marketing platform. You can use social media strategies to build customer relationships.
It was only about five years ago, as I transitioned into local small business marketing, when I discovered that many small business owners believed that social media was not important, and that it was just a passing fad. That is not the case. In fact, if you’re not incorporating social media strategies in your business, you’ll be left behind.
One question you may be asking is, “Can social media strategies help me build relationships with my customers?” Let’s explore this question further.
Strategies to Build Customer Relationships: Which platform is right for me?
As a business owner, you’ve already identified your target market and niche. However, before you dive into social media, take some time to study the top four or five platforms. It will be time well spent! You need this time to determine which platform is right for you.
You first want to decide which social media platform matches your personality and the personality of your business. Use the knowledge you acquire to also find out where your customers and potential customers are hanging out. For example, if your target audience is C-Level Executives, your focus should be on LinkedIn. If teens, Snapchat or Instagram may be better suited to meet your needs.
Think of the personality of your business in this way: You like the informality of the back-yard barbecue and just hanging out with friends and family – perhaps Facebook may be the best platform for you to enjoy using and find your prospects and clients who have a similar personality.
On the other hand, you may prefer the formality of cocktail parties and business luncheons, then your platform is going to be LinkedIn. Test it out. You may find you like a mix of both, and so do the people with whom you want to build customer relationships and connections.
Strategies to Build Customer Relationships: Interact with customers
Pay attention to what your customers and prospects are saying so you can answer their questions or concerns in a timely manner. When you interact with customers and pay attention, you will also be able to identify needs they have that are not being met so you can offer solutions.
Another benefit to interacting with customers is that you can get feedback on a product you’re creating or introducing, in the early stages, before you invest too much time on it. This may be a digital product or it may be a physical product.
Strategies to Build Customer Relationships: Brand YOU
You are your brand. Your personal brand is the perception that others have of you.
Jeff Bezos, CEO and Founder of Amazon said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Your interactions on social media should be authentic and real. People can easily pick up on pretense, or when someone is not being authentic. They will not be eager to connect with you and respond to your attempts to build connections and relationships.
When your actions consistently show that you care, you’ll find it easier to bridge the connections gap. Further, your actions on social media should be consistent with the image that you want to convey. Keep in mind that even if you consider posting rants a way to “keep it real,” this is the barometer by which you’ll be judged online. Allow people to get to know like and trust you.
How would you answer?
How would you now answer the question, “Can social media help me build relationships with my customers?” I hope you can now see that it is possible to build strong relationships and connections with your prospects, clients, and customers by being active, yet selective, on social media platforms.
Download your copy of Relationship Marketing: Key to Small Business Success at:
www.YvonneAJones.com/smallbizsuccess to learn additional ways how successful business owners grow their business by building strong relationships and connections.