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B2C: Building Relationships with Social Media

Something that small businesses need to consider today is what methods they have available to them that will allow them to connect with their customers. Small business internet marketing is all about connections and networking and building relationships. Everyone that you come into contact with online could be a potential customer some day, so you need to find ways to create engaged relationships with all those points of contact. One way to do this is through social media.

Almost everyone that is one the internet these days spends at least some of their time on social media sites. Some people browse through social media sites just to see what is new or interesting, while others find their way to social media content that is returned in the search results when they look for a specific piece of information. In any event, there are massive amounts of traffic that ends up on social media sites daily, and if you want to start connecting with some of those visitors as potential customers, you need to have a presence on those sites.

Social media can comprise just about any type of media. Whether you want to create great audio, textual, visual, or video content doesn’t matter. In fact, it can often be a very good idea to create all of them, if you can keep up with the demands of the content creation. What is important is that you create interesting media that people are going to want to view and comment on. If you try and create items that are basically ads and post them to these types of sites, you can expect your credibility and your page views to hit rock bottom in no time.

Instead, you should post the type of material that you would be interested in reading about if you were a customer, rather than a business owner. For instance, if you ran a stereo company, you can be sure that your customers aren’t interested in reading about exactly what types of sales that you’re offering every day, because it reads like an advertisement. However, regular updates about the new products being developed across the industry, new technologies, or tips for setting up your audio system for maximum performance are all things that they would likely be very interested in reading.

Creating and posting media is the first step. The next, is to invite comments on your media. The one thing that will encourage more people to post and comment on media is if they see responses coming from those who posted the media initially. Whenever someone posts on your comment, try talking to them. Engage in a back and forth, and other viewers will be more likely to comment. Posts with more comments always get more attention.

Be aware that when you’re trying to build relationships with consumers, you are always going to encounter a few people that attack you, or who are extremely negative about your company, products, or services. It is impossible to avoid this forever on the internet. It is critical that you don’t rise to attacks though. Don’t let them provoke you into responding in a similar fashion, or you will see that your credibility quickly vanishes, as no one else will want to respond to a company that lashes out at those who comment on their posts, no matter how nasty the original poster was.

Remember to share links to any social media that you’ve created across all your social networking profiles. This helps you leverage the value of any material that you’ve created for greater gains, and exposes it to a wider audience.

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2 Comments Published

William / 27 February 2011 / Reply

Very good points. Understanding the importance of developing a relationship with consumers / customers is crucial for businesses marketing with social media. Many business owners have this on a subconscious level, they just need to be aware of it at every stage of their social media plan.

Magen Smith / 22 January 2012 / Reply

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