Social Media Marketing: It’s About Building Relationships, NOT Broadcasting Commercials

By July 13, 2011Social Marketing

Social media is changing the way businesses communicate with their customers. People are looking to engage in conversations and build relationships. Customers want to see a company’s personality. Engaging in social media can be a powerful tool for building a company’s brand and reputation if done properly.

While the do’s and don’ts of social media change frequently, two things remain constant.

  • Do not broadcast commercials on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
  • Do build relationships.

It is social media after all. It all comes down to the basics of any marketing campaign — knowing the audience. What do customers want to hear? Why are they using social media tools? Are they looking for contact information, how-to’s, or discounts?

Getting to know an audience and then adjusting communication to engage them will help a business to build relationships. No one wants to hear “Buy our new widget” over and over again. “We just introduced this new widget and would love your feedback. Tell us what you think” may get a better reaction from customers. But solving problems that people have — with solutions that may or may not involve your widget — will win you friends and people who trust you, and therefore, are willing to buy from you.

Promoting products and services in every tweet, post, or update can be tempting for any company looking to increase business. But it is important to see the bigger potential of social media.

Businesses need to embrace the idea of trust with their customers and work at building relationships. Once there is trust, it is then more appropriate to ask for the purchase, sign up, or sale. With social media, a business can ask their customers what they’d like to see from a company or product. They can get feedback on what is and is not working. Involving the end users in a company’s thoughts and developments can help to get them to buy in.

It is important to avoid the urge to shout at their customers. Instead, businesses need to talk with them. Shouting out a litany of commercials through social media is a sure way to lose the attention of the audience.

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