Building Online Relationships that Lead to Customers and Word-of-Mouth Advertising
Due to its interactive nature, Social Media is a very important tool in building online relationships that bring in more business with potential customers, encouraging them to tell their friends and family about it and generating new business. By using the right social media strategy, businesses can convert Social Media users into long-term clients.
Customers love both being involved in a company’s activity and getting freebies from the business. Interactive giveaways through Social Media combine both of these. For example, in turn for ‘Liking’ a business’ Facebook page or ‘retweeting’ (RT) one of its tweets, the individual can earn the chance to win one of the company’s products. The person is therefore motivated to interact with the organization’s Social Media profile. Even long after the competition ends, entrants are more to likely to remember the business warmly and buy from it. Also, by asking people to ‘Like’ or ‘RT’ its content, the business is getting exposure on Social Media and beyond, attracting more potential customers.
Companies can build relationships with potential clients not only with text content on Social Media, but also online images. Posting photos on Pinterest, Tumblr or Instagram is a great way of catching a person’s eye and motivating them to follow the business’ Social Media activity and engage in a relationship with the brand. The pictures can be of anything or anyone associated with the company, be it products, members of staff or headquarter premises. To drive web traffic from these photo sharing sites to the organization’s own website, the images can be accompanied with a piece of text saying that more photo galleries can be found on the site.
Brands can use Social Media both to broadcast a message to millions of people at a time and to contact individuals on a one-to-one basis. As important as it is for online branding to have a personal touch, business should make use of the private direct messaging systems that Social Networking sites like Twitter and Facebook feature. When a company sends individual messages to each of its followers and fans, it makes the individual feel special and lets them know they are truly engaged in a relationship with the organization. Being directly addressed by a brand is more likely to convince someone to buy from it than just a string of impersonal profile updates.
In a genuinely two-way online relationship, a business will not put the spotlight solely on itself but also on its clients, leads and prospects. This is why one of the most popular Social Media strategies is to invite customers to submit photos, videos and other content to be posted on the company’s social network profile. For instance, part of a clothing company’s internet marketing strategy might be to change its Twitter background to a photo collage of its followers wearing its clothes. Individuals who are given attention by a brand will be more inclined to reciprocate the attention and invest in the relationship by buying from the brand and spreading the word about it online and offline.
If an organization is smart about how it uses Social Media and thinks about what a person wants from their online relationship with it, the possibilities are endless. Once a company has figured out how to use social media to increase its popularity and build online relationships that bring in more business, this popularity becomes self-perpetuating as the customers themselves use Social Networking and other methods to spread the word about what makes the business so great.