Are your potential customers online? You bet! And they are probably one of 800,000,000 Facebook users. You’d probably like to know how to relate to them on social media, right? Well, anyone can set up a Facebook page or Twitter account, but developing relationships with likes/fans/followers is another story. We’ll talk about relationship marketing in this article.
In order to develop a relationship with your potential customers you need to be willing to reach out and communicate effectively on a regular basis. As you know, engagement with your customers is a crucial part of your business, and it isn’t any different online.
As a matter of fact, it is vital to be open and giving with strangers. One way to be open and giving, and to increase engagement is by sharing things about yourself. People want to know you before they do business with you. They will be more interested if there is a personal connection, which may lead the way to a future business relationship.
Let’s put this in context. Say I have a Facebook business page and it’s all about my product. Well, a lot of other people are selling the same product. What makes my product different than theirs? Nothing! And that’s the point. Why should someone buy my product when they could easily buy from someone else? Because they like me! We created an online relationship with each other, by engaging in common interests. And this is all relationship marketing is!
For example, I like to garden and I occasionally share photos of the produce I’ve grown. We have a pomegranate tree in our backyard, and November is National Pomegranate Month. I’ve shared this in my email newsletter and included it in this blog. I could also post it on Facebook where it is very easy to share photos!
These fruit are considered a symbol of abundance, fertility and good luck in Greek culture. I’ve picked this one from our tree, and I’m sharing it with you to pass on good luck. Feel free to share it with your online friends! ; )
Hey, not everyone is interested in gardening or produce, but you get the idea right? Sharing something personal about yourself allows others to get to know you better, and creates an opportunity for others to engage with you. (I’m not talking about bombarding people with pictures of your children or grandchildren, those probably belong on your personal profile.)
Create a list of your interests (they should be on your profiles anyway!), and choose an activity or hobby you would like to talk about. Then see if people respond. Sharing personal stories or interests (especially with photos!), also helps to “brand” your personality. Stale, boring profiles and pages will not illicit any activity, and engaging is the name of the game. So, let’s start sharing! Who knew fruit could be so lucky?
This is the first blog in a series. Since many people already have a presence on social media, I chose to talk about relationship marketing. If you find this helpful, please comment below and share this with your online friends! Pay it forward! ; )
Another Small Business Internet Marketing Blog by Tina Reed Johnson