There was once a time, not so long ago, when people really had to extend themselves to stay in touch with each other. Before telephones, people were forced to travel or have notes delivered if they wanted to communicate. Finding long-lost family members or friends often took a great deal of research.
Luckily for us, technology has advanced significantly since that time and there are many more ways for us to stay in touch. Gone are the days when searching through town newsletters on spools of microfiche was the only way to determine whether your long-lost classmate became an orthodontist or not. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with microfiche, it’s less fun than scanning a document, forgetting to name it, and then searching your whole computer for the pdf.)
In the present technological climate, social media is definitely the fad for business marketing. Setting up a multitude of social networking accounts is quick, easy, cheap, and it would be foolish not to get in on that action … right? Well, that really depends on the way you run your business.
In an article entitled “5 Ways to Build Meaningful Relationships Through Social Media,” Jana Francis, the founder of Steals.com, gives a good piece of advice: “Don’t pass the buck.” In other words, for social media marketing to be successful, it is important that businesses use their accounts as a way to communicate directly with their clients. The employees manning the accounts should be trained in a way that allows them to answer questions quickly and efficiently, without creating the inconvenient situation in which a client is passed around from one employee to the next, in search of a simple answer. Social media is a quick and easy platform make a positive experience for each client, which is a major benefit.
Another benefit of social media marketing is that it can be so fun! In an article titled “How to Build Relationships With Your Customers Via Social Media,” Quickbooks talks about the importance of fun when interacting with clients: “Share happy and humorous memes.” That sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Staying positive is a tremendous part of good customer service, and what better way to portray positivity than to make your many social media followers smile? There are plenty of negative things to be found on the internet and sometimes the positive things can get lost in the shuffle. Let your business be the bright spot in someone’s day.
The key to success in building relationships via social media should not be any different than that of building relationships in real life. In the same way that a swinging door goes both ways, so must communication between a business and its clients. Our lives are often so busy that face-to-face conversations are not always ideal. Social media is just one of many technological advances that helps bridge the gap between time and space and with proper execution, it can be a wonderful tool for building professional relationships.