Relationship Marketing for Your Business

Updated: April 12, 2010

Just a short time ago, social media was an insignificant tool that college students and teenagers amused themselves with. How social media is used now bears no resemblance whatsoever to its former self. For example, the fastest growing demographic of Facebook is the over-25-year-old user.

When you are considering your customers and potential customers, you need to realize that they not only have computers but probably also have high-speed Internet access. If your customers and potential customers are not involved with some sort of social media channels yet, they will most likely get involved very soon.

The strongest communication vehicle today is the Internet. The tools that make the Internet work successfully have improved tremendously in such a remarkably short time that everyone is talking about Internet communication and doing something about it.

The Internet of today is far more social, innovative, collaborative and interactive than in the past. If you try to stay away from hard selling to your customers and potential customers, this news is excellent for you and your business. For business people who prefer their marketing to have a personal feel to it, the advancement of interactive social channels fully supports the concept.

Blogs, business-focused social media sites, and social networking sites accommodate people who focus on relationships to connect on a grand scale with other people. No other vehicle works as well and reaches as many people so quickly. Social media channels and the way in which the information is spread encourage viral marketing, which is more the exception than the rule at this point.

People who are successful at relationship marketing are people who take a genuine interest in people around them. The purpose of this type of marketing is to build relationships and strengthen those relationships that already exist. In building these relationships, you are building trust and credibility.

If you happen to have something or know something that you feel will be beneficial to other people in one of your communities, by all means, share it. You should give of yourself unconditionally and with no expectation of anything in return.

There are several ways in which to get involved right away if you are not yet involved.

  • Blogging: If you have a product, service, or interest about which you feel passionate and want to share with other people, blogging is the easiest way to connect with your potential customers, colleagues and other people who may need what you are offering or with whom you want to form relationships.
  • Making comments on other people's blogs: You should search the Internet for topics that interest you using keywords. You can type in "blogs about real estate," for example and see what turns up. This is the electronic equivalent of a face-to-face networking meeting, where you are speaking with other people.

The beauty of blogs is that they encourage discussion. You can write about subjects that interest you and that you think will interest other people. You can also ask questions and people will respond to you. Both of those methods are excellent ways to engage other people.

Another good way to use a blog is for gathering customer feedback about your products and services. You can do a short survey, add a link to an RSS (real simple search) feed, and include a calendar of events. There is a great deal that you can do with blogs. The main thing to remember is that the purpose of reaching out to others is to form and build relationships. Hopefully, those relationships will be a part of your life for a very long time.

Virtual communication: Not only has social media affected your opportunities for relationship marketing but it can be done effectively without your ever having to leave your house. There never seems to be enough time in the day to get your work done. With technology as it stands now, you don't always need to leave your house to build relationships for you and your business.

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