We know what you’re thinking: platforms like Facebook and Twitter are perfect for generating leads. And yes, you can use social media for lead generation. But if you focus on that alone, you really don’t get the gist of how this thing works. The be-all and end-all of social media for business is, wait for it: relationship building. Without it, you’re dead in the water.
Why Is Relationship Building Important?
Chances are there are many other businesses offering similar products or services, so why should anyone choose you? Having a good product or service is enough, right? Think again. Social media is work and you have to do the following to make it translate into dollars:
- Grab your audience’s interest (yes, grab it)
- Build trust
- Increase exposure
- Demonstrate the value in connecting with you
- Keep your audience’s attention
- Nurture your relationships
Over three-quarters of small businesses get customers through social media. Be a part of this.
How to Build Relationships Using Social Media Platforms
This is both easy and hard. It’s easy because, well, being social isn’t rocket science. It’s hard because it takes time and effort. Here’s what you have to do:
1. Identify your audience and discover what its members need. Forget about your products and services for a minute. Stop gasping in shock. It’s for a good cause. Now think. What does your audience need that you can provide through social media? Let’s say your audience needs ways to save time and money. Provide related hints and tips that make them look forward to your posts and share your content with others in need of the same advice.
2. Make sure everything you share is of value. A quick way to lose the interest and respect of your target audience is to post content just for the sake of posting. These types of posts are both obvious and irritating. No one has time to bother with them. If you post willy-nilly, low-value content, you will find yourself unfriended and unliked with surprising speed. Be all about the meaty information that truly helps your audience.
3. Get involved in conversations. Sure, you have a lot to say, but social media relationship building requires back-and-forth sharing. Respond to others’ posts, ask questions, offer answers, make suggestions, and always respond to comments directed at you. Show others that you are interesting and interested. But keep your responses genuine. Faking it is no longer acceptable.
Think setting and forgetting is the right way to go with social media? Be careful, auto-posting decreases engagement by a whopping 70 percent on Facebook. Expect poor results on other platforms as well.
4. Get personal. Building trust often means getting to know prospects personally. Many prefer to give their business to someone they know and like. In contrast, people are often turned off by out-of-nowhere sales pitches. Getting personal builds relationships that help you get your foot in the door.
How do you build relationships via social media? Please share with us!
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