There is a phrase that describes outgoing, at-ease people who love meeting new people and easily engage the interest of new acquaintances. People say “He’s never met a stranger”. In the world of business, this easy sense of comfort and affinity is something that is vital to establishing relationships with customers. This applies in person, but also in online advertising and especially in social media.
While it may be a faux pas to be socially “tone deaf” at a cocktail party with friends, if you proceed like Sheldon Cooper in the business arena, putting your needs and ideas way above your customers, you will not be in business long. You cannot be estranged from your customers, or you put your whole business in danger.
Marketing Today: Everything is Social Even if it’s Not Facebook.
The days of the Mad Men are passed, and you wont win many friends and loyal customers by barraging people you don’t know with ads and things YOU want THEM to hear. Except possibly if Christina Hendricks is your spokesperson, but that’s another story for another day…
Social Marketing for Small Businesses
In the 21st Century, people are bombarded with marketing messages and media all-day-every-day. There is a saturation with media and marketing ploys. People have either developed some immunity to it or they have become zombies, with their vital energy being sucked out of them by predatory marketers. The modern consumer is thick-skinned and somewhat suspicious.
To develop really good customer relationships, you need to develop trust and be interesting and helpful. You need to work to understand them, understand what they want, and engaging them in a way that is appealing and authentic through channels of their choosing.
The days of those cheap tricks to get customers buying your crap instead of someone else’s crap are gone.
These days are the days about finding out about your customers and helping them get what they want, and to learn about options in an enjoyable way.
As a business or marketer you are now expected to be good company along the customer journey. You should be entertaining, approachable, not pushy, and above all relevant and informative.
For the customer to accompany you on their journey to purchasing, you need to be more than just one stranger hawking his/her wares to another. You need to get beyond being strangers, and establish an authentic bond with your customer.
This engagement process is easy for the people who “have never met a stranger”, but for many firms, it does not come naturally and the cultivation of relationships with customers is something they need to work on.
Some business owners love talking to customers in the store but could not stand chatting on facebook. Some love to answer questions on forums but hate to chitchat about the weather.
Whatever you like to to, build on that. And find other people, be they staff or agencies, who can do the pieces you don’t want to do or don’t have aptitude for. That’s what we’re here for, and the right engagement can make all the difference.
Even moreso than direct contact, it is important to take these lessons to heart in social media and online advertising. You CAN’T just push out the message YOU think people should listen to. There is a REAL DANGER in talking to strangers. You need to find out about them, and be talking to acquaintances who you know a little bit about and have compassion for, or perhaps even friends. If you can help someone find what they need and make the customer journey enjoyable, you will have great abundance. If you try to “push” people into doing things, you’re treading on dangerous ground.
So focus on getting to know people and HELPING them, not SELLING them, and everybody wins.
Be a friend to your customers, and your business may gain a friend for life.
If you need help getting there, reach out and find people who love to do this stuff. We’re happy to throw the party and be good hosts to your customers while you produce the products they want to buy. It can be great to have good teamwork between producers and marketers. Both are needed, and some of us are pretty good at what we do!
If you’re interested to hear more, please link with us on social media (above).