Social media is about building relationships, as much as it is about starting conversations. Once you get involved in social media, it becomes obvious that it takes resources and time to build relationships within your community. These relationships not only create brand promoters and loyalists, but also convert skeptics.
However, these relationships are not built overnight. It requires time to communicate personally to communicate with individuals who are active in the social media within your industry. The following are some tips that can help you begin building relationships within your social media space.
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Building relationships requires resources, which includes time as well as people. You should have a committed team or person that is responsible for communicating one-on-one with your audience. This team of people will read blogs, write comments, manage friend lists, upload photos, join groups, participate in forums, write posts for your blog etc. Depending on the industry, you may need to have an expert on your team that can respond to questions with the right answers.
Building relationships requires trust. This means you should be real. Let your employees be real as they represent your brand. Writing fake reviews, concocting fake blogs and building fake profiles will eventually work against you, so don’t even go there. Never underestimate your audience’s intelligence.
Communicate often and early
Whether it’s through blogs, forum posts or newsletters go out there and communicate. When you communicate early, you get a jump start on the hot subjects in your industry and respond much earlier than the competition. Communicating often enables you to build relationships with your audience, which assures them that they can depend on you to provide valuable information that they are looking for.
Social media is meant to be a two-way conversation. It is therefore vital that you get involved with your particular community. If people need assistance, give them some direction. This will gain you some respect.
Reward your audience
You should always keep in mind that your audience is spending time and effort in building relationships as much as you are. They take time to type up comments, post reviews, answer questions, write blog posts and test new services and products. Remember to reward your audience for their time, resources and efforts they are investing. Lastly, remember to personally thank members who put in some extra effort.
Remember to listen
Building relationships calls for talking less and listening more. This means that promotion is not be your primary focus in social media. Social media provides a unique chance for you to learn about real problems and issues, as well as success from your audience’s perspective. It’s amazing what you can learn by just listening to what your audience or customers are saying. Take time to read their comments in blog posts, posts in forums and their tweets.
Author: Charles Mburugu often writes about social media and blogging tips. He also blogs at www.WeightLossTriumph.com about diet plans for weight loss blogs that share Medifast diet discounts and Nutrisystem savings coupons. He is currently writing for a diet blog that offers reviews of successful weight management plans, including Bistro MD and Diet to Go, two popular meal replacement programs.