“New marketing is about the relationships, not the medium.” – Ben Grossman, founder and chief strategist for BiGMarK. Social media is naturally conducive to allowing you to build relationships with your customers.
There are those business people who have tried to use social media to strengthen their businesses and now feel that it isn’t working for them. They are very frustrated and they want to just give up on social media. They feel that social media does not translate into revenue for their businesses. If you look hard enough, the root cause is usually some major flaw in their marketing plans rather than in social media itself.
In order to really make social media work for you and your business, you need to not only have discussions and interactions with your customers and potential customers but you need to take the relationship to the next level, which means that you need to build solid, face-to-face relationships with them. Your relationships with your customers should be engaging and you need to make sure that you provide them with the valuable information that they are seeking.
The marketing concept WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) is one that will help you to succeed tremendously in business. What the concept means is that your objective should always be to satisfy the needs of your customer. Your customers are not concerned with how great your products and/or services are. The only thing that matters to them is that you have a solution to their problem. If you never stop following that principle, you will continue to be successful in your business.
In your business, you have a list of clients and prospective clients with accompanying Email addresses. The true value of this aspect of social media is in your relationships with each and every person on your list. Anyone can type a bunch of names and Email addresses onto a piece of paper. Without the human relationships that tie to those names, you won’t get very far.
There are those who believe that merely acquiring friends or followers on the various social media channels is enough. Wrong! The quantity without the quality is ineffective. If any of the social media channels were to shut down tomorrow, what would you be left with? If, on the other hand, you have managed to build relationships with some of the people with whom you are connected through social media channels, you no longer need the social media channels to interact with the people. Social media was your stepping stone.
An important part of what makes content valuable is the high quality. One extremely important factor in generating valuable, high-quality content is the types of discussions that occur as a result of posting the content. When people read content that they find engaging and helpful, they will be inclined to comment on it and/or ask questions related to it. The more discussions that are generated, the more content will be associated with your business.
Social media is a complement to your list building. It should not replace it. When you first start to get involved with social media, you may find that you are spending more time than you would like on it. It will get easier as time goes on. If you regard social media as a serious and productive marketing tool for your business and you factor in time in your work week to connect with people through social media channels, it will start to pay off.
Social media is a great place to begin establishing relationships. It is important at some point, of course, to have face-to-face interaction with those people in order to deepen the relationships. At this point, your list will consist of people who have opted in to hearing about, in more detail, what you have to offer.
You now have a responsibility to continually provide those customers and potential customers with valuable, high-quality content, tips that they can use for their businesses, and any other useful information that you feel they would appreciate and from which they would benefit. After you have done all of this for quite a while, they will be ready to buy your products and/or services. The reason that they will want to buy from you is that you have proven yourself to be trustworthy and credible.
If you constantly put the needs of your customers and potential customers ahead of your own, it will all come back to you in a very positive and successful way. Even if you have the most amazing product and/or services, if people don’t know about your offerings, they won’t buy from you. Social media allows you to reach a great number of people and to build meaningful and lasting relationships with them.
We are pleased to provide you with the insightful comments contained herein. Please contact us at CompuKol Communications for further discussion on how we might be able to assist you and your team.
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
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