This post provides an overview of how people, organizations and businesses can use social media as a useful methodology to build and enhance customer relationships. Other posts will discuss how to use social media for search engine optimization purposes such as link building etc.
Use Social Media to Engage
Whether you like social media or not (and some people don’t), in general, people increasingly expect companies and brands they use, or are interested in using, to have an online social media presence.
The number of businesses that use social media as a means of building and maintaining brand recognition and customer loyalty continues to increase. And many of these are large businesses too, who can see the real and potential benefits that using social media can bring them.
These businesses have recognised that using social media provides a means to help their prospects better engage with them and interact with them positively.
If the prospect is not yet a customer, it warms them up and helps turn them into one. If they are a customer, it helps maintain their interest in the business, encourages brand loyalty and repeat business and encourage recommendation of the business to their social network.
Social Media is Not a Direct Sales Channel
Using social media effectively is not about trying to make instant sales. Doing that will likely have the opposite effect and drive people away from you altogether.
It’s about building relationships and engaging with your client base; turning an anonymous business relationship into a more interactive one that is ultimately more rewarding for both parties.
From the companies point of view, using social media involves giving to users, and continuing to do so over time.
The benefit (over time again) is that it is a means to reinforce awareness of your other online properties where you can sell/promote/market and with less resistance – i.e. your website.
In future posts, we’ll look at how to implement use of social media, including Facebook fan pages etc.