As a business owner you know how important it is to build relationships with your customers and prospects. It is crucial to your business and brand that your target audience should know, like, and trust you.
How do you make that happen? One of the best ways in today’s modern web is to build relationships via social media.
If you think about it, social media is where target customers truly hang out these days. They are on Facebook and Twitter. They’re pinning things on Pinterest, and uploading photos onto Instagram. They’re checking their LinkedIn account.
So what happens if you’re not present in those places?
It’s possible that other, competing businesses in your niche will capture their attention instead. If you’re not where the people are, then you can’t hope to truly stand out and start to build a relationship.
Quite simply, if you are not using social media, you’re missing out on a huge chunk of your potential traffic.
If you want to make it as a successful online business and be considered as an authority in your niche, then you have to be seen in the first place. People have to know who you are and get used to seeing you as part of their daily lives.
Don’t leave that space wide open for your competition. Don’t ignore Facebook completely, sticking to your blog and your email list and never giving a second thought to any of the social sites.
It really doesn’t have to take that long to be present on social media. And that’s really where a relationship starts anyway—with being present.
The more people see of you, the more familiar you and your business will become to them. They’ll start to associate your name and brand with the niche they’re interested in. That, too, is the start to a relationship.
Which Social Sites to Join?
Hopefully, you’re now invested in the idea that social media can matter for your business. Being present on social media can help you build great relationships that, in turn, lead to more sales for you.
However, we are not saying that you have to join every social site under the sun. In fact we don’t even think you should do that.
Instead, you should be selective with what you do on social media.
You have to figure out where your time and energy is best spent. Maybe you have a highly visual niche so Instagram or Tumblr might be good for you, for example. Or maybe your niche is very active and engaged on Twitter, so that might be a good avenue for you—maybe particularly so since it’s connected with Periscope, which is bound to be an excellent platform for building relationships.
Do your own research and take a look at the different social sites and start doing some digging. Where are the people of your niche frequently hanging out?
Are there other businesses that are already building successful relationships with the people in your niche in droves? That’s actually a great sign for you—it means that you can successfully do the same.
After you’ve figured out where people are most active and engaged, it’s time for you to drop yourself into the community.
Create a page, profile, group, or whatever it is you need to create to break through on this social site for your niche.
Again, study those in your niche who have already done this to figure out how you might do the same. Take notes and implement in your own way.
Remember what makes you unique. What is it about you that set you apart from others on social media? Make that clear.
Enter With A Helping Attitude
Part of building relationships on social media is being able to help out wherever and whenever you can.
Answer people’s questions and help point them to resources that can help them.
Be friendly and actively engaged with people.
When you help people and have a good attitude, people are much more likely to stick around and pay attention to you. Not to mention that it’s crucial if you want to build solid relationships with the people of your niche.
And don’t just help people because you think you’ll get something out of it—help people because you want to help people and give back. If you give more than you think you’ll receive, you’ll receive more than you give.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Controversial
Building relationships isn’t about catering to popular opinions all the time. There will be times when you have an opinion that differs from the popular opinion.
People will respect you a lot more if you’re open and honest with your thoughts and experiences. If you back up what you say with proof, you’ll win some hard-core fans who might not have given you a second glance otherwise.
Who Are Your 1,000 Fans?
Some marketing experts say that you need a core group of fans who are die-hard. They spread your name far and wide to anyone who will listen. They adore you, buy everything you put out, and will help you grow your brand without expecting anything in return. And they’ll do that because they like you, your brand, what you stand for, and the results they’ve been able to get because of what you’ve shared with them.
Do you have 1,000 fans or so who are willing to do that for you? How about 100 fans who are willing to do that for you? Or maybe just 10?
Social media is a great way to build the kind of relationships that turns people into this kind of fan for you.
Focus on getting that core group of 1,000 fans/customers who will always go to bat for you. Treat them like gold.
You care about all of your customers and followers, but you’ll get some great returns if you pay particularly close attention to these people. Work on building these relationships in particular.
Attend to Social Media Every Day
In order to build relationships on social media, you have to actually be present. You can’t just check in a couple times a month on your social accounts and expect to see good results.
That doesn’t mean you have to spend an absurd amount of time on social media every day, either. You can spend 15-30 minutes a day connecting with people and building great relationships and see good results.
What Are Your Relationships Like in Real Life?
Think about what your relationships are like in real life. No doubt there is a lot of give and take.
You care about people. You work hard to make them happy. You pay attention to their needs.
You laugh with them and worry about them.
You want them to succeed.
You have your ups and downs.
That’s a relationship, right?
Now we are not saying that you will be as close to the people you’re ultimately trying to market to, but the same relationship building principles applies.
When you’re with people in your everyday life, you don’t try to sell to them constantly and you don’t only think about your needs. It’s not about, “me, me, me!”
There’s give and take.
Make sure that’s present with the relationships you develop on social media as well.
At the same time, don’t be afraid to ever market to these people. They know you’re in business. You have something they need and want.
And the better your relationship is over time, the easier it will be to make sales because they know, like, and trust you.
It Is Not Rocket Science
To build relationships on social media that will pay off for you in the long run you simply need to be present, be helpful, and pay attention to what people need and want.
Focus on people, care about people, and sell things that represent you and your business well.
Build relationships using social media—it will pay off for you in ways big and small.
Making Sense Of Social Media
Many small businesses find social media daunting and time consuming.
We help many local businesses to make sense of social media and build a very profitable online business. To find out how we can help you, contact us today. You will be glad you did.