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Social Media Marketing and Relationship Building

Jul 6th 2010 at 6:04 PM

You may have noticed, many people today are trying to do some sort of social media marketing online.   There are a number of different methods that are used to market, some work much better than others.   Some methods even make you FEEL better than others.   Rather than ruin your own reputation or creating a bad experience for your contacts on social media sites, try taking some time and understand the definition of marketing vs. the definition of social media.

By aggressively marketing or spamming your business or opportunity, you might get lucky and successfully attract some good connections to network and partner with, but chances are that one of the following will happen:

  1. You’ll gain attention that won’t leave a lasting impression — thus, if someone does join your business or purchase your product, they’re not likely to be a repeat customer or a committed team member;
  2. You’ll offend people that will turn the other way and not communicate with you at all anymore, even if you do reach out to build a relationship; or
  3. You’ll be completely ignored because so many others are doing the same exact thing and you drown in the vast numbers of opportunity and product pitches.

YES, it takes time to build relationships, but I think that you’ll find that once you build them and engage with your new friends regularly, you will enjoy the communication you do have in a more pleasant and genuine way.

I am guilty of aggressively marketing in the past myself, and I can tell you from true experience that it is much more gratifying to work with someone in a business opportunity or on a team that I have built a relationship with first. Have you ever had a job and dreaded working with certain people that were employed with you?  I sure have.  Isn’t it much nicer to be able to hand pick those that you’d like to keep close and on your team?  Imagine how pleasant the work environment would be if you were able to hand-select those employees that surrounded you.  Sure, you’re able to hire your own personnel at times, but I’m referring to those that are across the organizational chart from you or in another department — those that you had no choice but to work with.   It’s difficult to remain positive and motivated in an environment that you don’t like being in.   I have spent almost 30 years in the workforce and in the corporate world and only have a handful of coworkers that I would have truly hand-picked to be on my team.

Here are a couple of tips I have found helpful for me:

All About Building Relationships:
Whenever possible, try and forget about your business and the desire to make money.   Remember you are on social media to make friends and you need to focus on building relationships with people.   I believe relationships should be all about giving 80% of the time and only asking for something in return 20% of the time.  Giving helps to create a feeling of pride and accomplishment and often times begins a cycle of receiving.  I believe it is true that the more you give to others, the more you will receive in return.

When Giving, Make Sure You Are Giving or Adding Value:
Giving and adding value is key in social media.   Always try to publish good and interesting content which empowers and helps other people in their business or life.   It doesn’t have to be your own content, you can simply share other people’s content that you might find online.   Sharing a good blog or an interesting or funny video are examples of that.  When people are interested in your content and find your posts valuable, they will follow you in anticipation of what you’ll bring next.

Who Do You Network With?
Try and be conscious with your time and decide who you’d like to network with.   It is important to network with people of influence.   This doesn’t mean that you have to ignore everyone else, because bringing people together is also key in networking.  Prioritize your time and decide what types of people you’d like to connect with (i.e. influencial people, people with large number of followers on social sites, people with good blogs and people who have a strong online reputation).  You might want to start writing out a list of people you’d like to build a relationship with and find ways you can offer value to them.   For example, on Twitter, you can retweet their tweets, share their blog posts and start conversations.

Deciding What Your Brand Is:
Remember your business opportunity or product is NOT your brand.  You should not brand yourself as “The ABC Guy” or “The ABC Leader”.   Instead, be unique and define your brand as what your niche is — what are you good at?  For example, my brand is internet marketing methods and personal development.   You can go into more specific areas like social media, pay per click, health, beauty, etc.   Again, it should be about YOU and what YOU are good at — what is your passion?

Now go find your niche and start building relationships!

To your success!

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