Trust over Persuasion: Building Meaningful Relationships through Social Media
Investing time in social media may seem like a waste of time to you. The thought of tweeting, liking, sharing, or writing, often seems like nothing but time wasted as opposed to time invested. Surprisingly, not all people have taken to the social media revolution and will do whatever they can to avoid being pulled in; feeling that business must be a priority and successful business relationships deserve nothing less than face-to-face interaction with a business card to go!
Times have changed! What does it mean to “get things done” nowadays? Erik Qualman, Founder of Socialnomics, said it well: “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it?” Social media is powerful; the ability to showcase your value and worth, build your credibility, and help you to build relationships when you need them the most. Through social media you have the ability to turn prospects into customers, and customers into fans. True Fans will be there to work for you, support you, recommend you, choose you, and pay things forward.
It seems that the power of persuasion has weakened, and the power of trust has taken over. With a few sure-shot strategies, social media can help you to build that loyal social network you need to build business:
1. Provide your audience with specific information they are looking for
2. Get personal/Be human
3. Find the social media platform for you; not all social networks focus on the same target audience
4. Mingle in spots where mutually beneficial relationships can be formed
5. Nurture your presence. I.e. Being on LinkedIn does not necessarily mean you are LinkedIn
6. Share engaging content
7. Be consistent without overdoing it
8. Think of others first
9. Keep the “S” in social but not in selling
10. Think of long term results and not quick fixes
12. Engage in conversations
13. Ask opinions
14. Shift your mindset
15. Be a thought leader
Meeting your business objectives like building business, increasing your brand awareness, increasing your customer base, and making more sales, are no doubt key motivators of any social media business strategy. However, it is important to not lose focus on the process, and the key driving force behind any solid and successful social media plan: constantly building relationships that you can count on!
Social media provides a comprehensive platform to talk, engage, respond, and really listen to your fans. If you succeed in developing a loyal social following, there is no doubt that this will transform itself into new business.
Shelly Elsliger is a LinkedIn Trainer, Strategist, certified Coach and Founder of Linked-Express; focused on helping individuals and businesses optimize their online social media presence and experience.
Since 2010, Shelly has been helping business owners, students, entrepreneurs, job seekers, recruiters; a diverse range of professionals learn how to maximize their LinkedIn experience and benefit from this amazing yet complex online professional social networking tool.
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