If you’ve been doing social media marketing or even thinking about doing social media marketing for any length of time, you’ve heard the oft-repeated phrase “Content is KING”. As with all such saying, there’s a modicum of truth to that statement. But, relationships really trump content as King in the world of social networks.
Don’t just take my word for it. Here’s a similar statement from Greg Habstritt
We’ve always looked at trying to create a more authentic and transparent relationship with our community, and involving them in our lives to some degree. I talk about my personal life and the important people in it, and that’s because I want people to know me.
I don’t hold back my opinions for fear of being judged or alienating people,because when you hold back who you really are, it’s impossible to create any kind of authentic connection. — Greg Habstritt
Building relationships is really the hallmark of all successful social media marketers. Look at the folksy style used by Mari Smith in here Facebook and Twitter feeds. Or how Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan always sound like they’re talking directly to you rather than a mass audience.
Relationship are so important, Michael Stelzner just started his own tribe of followers for Social Media examiner. The tribe’s mission is to answer questions and provide support to others interested in social media marketing. I have a tribe on Facebook which, although smaller than Michael’s, is very vibrant.
Steps for Building Relationships in Social Media
- Be likable – this means you have to let your personality shine through because people don’t like nameless, faceless robots. Don’t be afraid people won’t agree with you, but be bold so you stand out from the crowd.
- Talk to people not masses – the ease of automation makes it easy to send mass broadcast messages, autofollow, link your social networks to expand you voice, and other questionable acts. But, messages should be directed at specific audiences and show you care about them. So, use automation carefully.
- Acknowledge your network – be responsive and interact with messages posted to your Facebook wall and Twitter mentions. Thanks folks for sharing your content or +1’s on Google +. People quickly lose interest in talking to you if you don’t talk back.
- Ask questions and share graciously – you never know which of your connections might be critical for your ultimate success. Engage your network and show you care about them.
- Remember the Golden Rule – treat others as you like to be treated.
Relationships in Social Networks Should Look Like True Friendships
That means you need:
- talking and listening – true conversation
I welcome your comments or questions about this post. Please tell me about steps you’ve taken to build online relationships for your brand. We all win when we work together.