If you spend any amount of time reading any of the thousands of articles and blogs posted daily that have anything to do with marketing or social media, you’ll see a number of phrases or terms used over and over again.
One of those will most likely be the word “relationship” or the term “relationship marketing”. Relationships are at the core of what social media is all about. Word of mouth is built on relationships, and businesses seek to build those relationships with their customers. Of course not all relationships are created equal. Relationships can be built both online and offline, but a combination of the two might be most effective.
But relationships take time. They are built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. They are built on a give and take, a conversation that takes place online and offline over the long run.
You can’t manufacture relationships. They happen organically.
You can’t force relationships. Just like in real life, the organic every day networking is more meaningful. Not a forced networking event with business cards. At those, everyone is there as a mercenary. Everyone sees dollar signs. You are not a person, you are a prospect. It’s a singles bar for business people.
You can’t buy relationships. If a relationship is predicated upon money changing hands, it’s not a real relationship. We have a word for that, and it isn’t very pretty.
When it comes to relationships, you sometimes just have to let it happen. Sure you can do certain things to facilitate the relationship, but that includes things like being available, being trustworthy, opening up and sharing, and listening. It involves spending time with people.
Now, how does that translate to how you’re doing business?
- The Three Things Marketers Keep Forgetting About Facebook (inklingmedia.net)
- Relationship Marketing (innovationsinpiping.com)
- The original WOMMA Ethics Code (damniwish.com)
- The Fourth Wave of Social Media (inklingmedia.net)
- Offline Strategies for Your Online Presence (inklingmedia.net)