Do you ever doubt the added value of the social web for your business? Look no further. Read this article to learn the ROI of engaging relationships.
#1 Focus on Your Relationships First
Here’s one super important lesson for you today. A lesson I’ve learned over the last years, struggling as a small business owner to grow my business. If you know how to build relationships via the social web, you lay a solid foundation for your business. Learn the new relationship marketing rules and people will like you more than your competitors.
The secret: don’t focus on selling your stuff, but show that you genuinely care about your customers, first and foremost. This will give you customers for life!
This is what Michael Stelzner -founder of social media examiner- has told me personally in a Skype interview:
“People really want, at their core, they want great information. They want great insight, some great people, and they want recognition. If you can do that without expectation of anything in return, then you will find yourself standing out in a noisy world. And all of a sudden, people will begin to receive your content as a gift. And as a result of that many of them will help you grow your business.”
So, here’s the secret formula for your business: share great content, work together with other people and cage your marketing messages. In other words: share valuable solutions via blog posts, spread it via your social network and use your back channel (e-mail list) to offer your products and services.
And the great thing about this formula is that Michael has explained it in great detail in his book Launch. Not only did he explain it, he also practiced it by building his multimillion dollar business -socialmediaexaminer- based on this elevation principle.
#2 Discover the ROI of the social web
And there’s more! Not only should you value your relationships with customers, you should value all your social connections.
You might ask: what’s the added value – the ROI- of these social relations for your business? Well, actually, there’s quite a lot of return on your investments!
Here are some very important ones:
- social proof,
- social reach,
- social referrals,
- social experience and
- humanizing your brand.
People only do business with you if they know you, like you and trust you. That’s where the power of social connections can work for you or against you.
Growing a big fan base on Facebook will increase your social proof and can generate a lot of engagement on your page. If your content is valued by your fans. With an average of 135 friends per Facebook fan, generating shares, likes and comments will improve your social reach on Facebook substantially.
To take full advantage of this social sharing power, use social plugins on your site. There are some great social plugins to share your WordPress blog content, here are two I like: digg-digg and sexybookmarks. And there are social plugins to integrate Facebook functionality on your site. Just visit Facebook’s developers section, to learn how easy it is to set this up on your site.
Humanize your brand with personal messages via blog posts or YouTube videos. Just check out Zappos YouTube Videos to see how they use video to add the personal Zappos touch to their online shoe store!
#3 Know the Rules of Social Engagement
As you know, social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Linkedin are growing with hundred millions of users looking for recognition. To have success with your business you need to know the rules of the social web. It took me a while before I had figured them out. I love to share them with you. In my article “The 7 rules of social media engagement” you’ll learn more about these important rules.
Take Away: whatever you do on the social web – always be genuinely interested in other people. Be patient and offer helpful insights all the time! Cherish your likes, shares, comments, pins, +1′s or retweets. Receiving a “thank you” will make your day!
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