Invest in your customer relationships

You’ve probably heard it before but it bears repeating. People do business with those they know, like and trust. You have to take the time to build a relationship with your readers, subscribers, social media friends, etc.

Good social media marketing involves creating and nurturing online relationships.  And if you’re into either internet marketing or you service that industry, creating online relationships that grow and last becomes especially important. Creating online relationships isn’t about pumping out thousands of Twitter and Facebook links, all leading to bit.ly links.  It isn’t constantly parading your latest accomplishments.  It isn’t even about collecting Friends and subscribers.

Creating online relationships is all about connection and engagement.  It’s nurturing, watering, watching your relationships grow and blossom, just as you would with an offline relationship. And just like “real life” relationships, an online relationship is not something that can be forced.

 Relationship-based marketing

 We need to focus first on what people want, when they indulge in online business relationships.

Women in particular have overwhelmingly proven they’re mainly interested in relationship-based marketing; so much so, it’s become an accepted, universal fact.  It’s something you need to be aware of because women now make up the majority of online shoppers and small business owners.

And remember the old “Golden Rule”?  (“Do unto others what you wish they would do unto you…”)  Well, nowhere is the Golden Rule more important than online.  If you want people to buy your products, show them you’ve solved their problem – but before they’re going to believe that, you have to be able to truly empathize with their situation so they will know and feel you truly understand where they are at and what they are going through.

First, however, take the time to sit back and think about what you want from your online relationships.  If your instant answer is “paying customers”, you’re honest – but is that all you want from them?  Is their money really all you’re online for?  Stop and really consider what it is you want in terms of a goal. Caring only that they are “paying customers” more or less puts you in the “pricing category” of strategy – that you’re going to compete strictly about the money.  Focusing solely on the money creates other challenges – profitability is pressured, real customer loyalty is harder to come by, and the whole relationship becomes very transactional in nature.

If this is the space you occupy, and you’re fine with it, and working for you (at least for now) then maybe cultivating social media friends or social media activities is not the best tactic for you.

I might, however, suggest that you may want, eventually to reconsider this market positon – especially for  longer term strategy.

REMEMBER: If you don’t care about your customers, they won’t care about you.

 

Category: Customer Relationships, Relationship Marketing

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