The greatest power in the use of social media is that of relationship building. Inbound Marketing through social media has proven to be effective and is based on building trust and relationships over time through providing value. There are some similarities in social selling however the relationship building is focused on individuals and takes on more of a personal nature. Social media can be used to establish bonds, directly interact and achieve relevance and prominence.
- Establishing Common Bonds – In sales a good deal of success can be recognized through establishing areas of common interest. On social media pages such as LinkedIn and Facebook a lot can be learned about a person from their basic profile information. Also, when people post things in social media they’re sharing things they’re interested in. Recognizing areas of common interest can result in a strong foundation for relationships.
- Directly Connecting – Interaction through social media can facilitate relationship building. When an existing or prospective customer posts or comments on social media a comment or a Facebook like can establish or maintain a relationship. It’s important that the post or comment be sincere and that it not be focused on selling. Otherwise the opposite of the desired result will be achieved.
- Establishing Relevance and Prominence – In social marketing as well as social selling the benefits of relationship building are the achievement of relevance and prominence in the person’s mind. When people engage a service provider they’ll gravitate more toward those they feel a common bond and friendship with. Put simply – a person will be more likely to buy from a friend than a stranger. Also, when a person recognizes the need for service they will remember people they are reminded of more often. In other words they will more likely choose a current friend than a past friend. So social media can be used to keep relationships relevant and prominent.