It appears the social space is making a U-turn in it’s course for adventure and exploration. It appears that the direction social engagement is heading is a new, yet back to it’s roots direction. As with everything there are those that are resisting the change, and those that are welcoming it, even embracing it. It’s a situation where it has always, been there, never left, but also a returning to basics type of thing. What the heck are you talking about Gettysburg Gerry, get to the point….Okay, what I am referring to is the “return to relationships” revival that the social space seems to be going through. A welcome change as far as this social media astronaut is concerned.
Earlier this year I noticed that many folks were talking and blogging about the value of
relationships. Clearly the true value in social media is the quality of your relationships. For a time there, there was a huge emphasis on getting and maintaining as big a “following” as possible on any of the social sites. Many resorting to “black hat” practices to get those numbers. There was lively debate about whether “the numbers” mattered, but in all that discussion and debate something happened, a paradigm occurred. Slowly but surely, people on both sides of the numbers debated began to talk once again about the value of social media relationships. Not just where personal accounts were concerned, but business accounts as well. The more people talked about it, the more people talked about it, and eventually the business world started to understand what many had been saying all along, it is not about broadcasting, it’s not about selling, it’s about building those online relationships through a number of different means that eventually does the selling for you.
Do Businesses Truly Understand the Value of Relationships
I often wonder if the majority of businesses understand the real value in building solid
relationships with the social space inhabitants. The real value is also the thing that can ruin a businesses online reputation. The thing that many businesses don’t get is that people in the social space do two things a lot….1, they talk, and 2, they share. So best case scenario, someone has a positive experience with a business or company online, and most likely everyone that person is connected with either directly or indirectly is going to hear about how great a company A was. Take that same experience and insert the word negative for positive and the same thing is going to happen, only with the reverse effects. The old adage, you only here from customers when they have something to complain about does not hold true in the social space, positive interactions are equally shared. So tell me again that you are not interested in building positive relationships with your online community. I cannot tell you how many times I have had that conversation with business people from both large and small companies, explaining that social media is not just about selling, selling and sales. It is truly about relationships.
So what are some tips for businesses to create positive relationships online.
> Do take the time to build the relationship before throwing that sales pitch out.
> Do develop a strategy of what your social media campaign is going to look like with your social media manager whether in house or out.
> Do understand that building a social media community that is buzzing about all things wonderful about your brand/business takes time. Social media is a marathon, not a sprint.
> Do trust in your social media manager, community builder, social media team etc. Listen to what they are telling you, it is their job to stay current on top what is going on in the social space.
>Do understand that some of what you are going to hear from your social media team is not going to make sense to you, simply because even though many of the tactics and practices used in traditional marketing are the same in social media, often the application is different.
> Don’t use “machine gun” posting tactic’s, spread your posts out over time.
> Don’t Cross post across all social sites at once. Post different content, it is okay to once in a while post the same content across all the different social platforms, but steer clear of one button post to all practices.
> Don’t beg for likes, followers etc…have some dignity…LOL
> Don’t buy followers, likes etc., not even so called “seed” accounts, fake accounts are not going to be engaging with you….
> Don’t be aggressive, be polite, and friendly in your interactions
In my mind there is one golden rule, “be nice or be gone” ….nobody likes bullies..
For whatever reason this resurgence to relationships is occurring, this author is just happy it is happening. The social space really offers something for everyone, business or personal. Use it, enjoy it…..and use your manners….