Relationship marketing has been around for centuries. Marketing for your business has changes so much in last 5 to 10 years through the prevalent use of social media, the internet and technology. However, relying on social media and technology to build relationships with your clients, customers and potential clients and customers can see relationship marketing take somewhat of a back seat. Relationship marketing is people to people, not computer to computer. Yes, you can engage through social media and some great business is done using social media as a tool; however the relationships that you build and create using these tools cannot be under-estimated.
When we nurture on-line relationships to carry over in off-line relationships this is where the magic begins. When we engage people, nature relationships and build both on and off-line relationships this is where you can have a client for life. Considering engaging with your on-line friend’s ones you find a connection with and then slowly bring this to an off-line connection you will find a higher level of engagement.
Relationship marketing is also about the follow up, connections and support you encounter with the people you meet. Entertain the idea of becoming the connector within your circle of influence. Connecting business to business, people to people and being the 'go to' person will help to nurture your relationships. In time you will start to see referrals build, connections flourish and business multiply just through the process of relationship marketing.
Is it new, certainly not! Relationship Marketing has been around for centuries, sometimes we just lose site of the value of the relationship and get caught up in fast paced technology.
When was the last time you went to a networking event? Picked up the phone, sent a card or arranged a coffee meeting? On a scale of 1 to 10 where does your relationship marketing fit within your personal life and business?
Recently I was working with a client discussing different options for social media and also the business. Basically, this was a business coaching session. After lengthy discussion my client decided to add a button for Skype to their website. The thinking behind this was it makes it easier for potential clients to access the business with a FREE Skype to Skype call.
Personally, I love Skype, with my family and a lot of my friends living on the other side of Australia it is a great cost effective way of keeping in touch. The added bonus to all of this is I can get to see them with the webcam. I also use Skype for my business and do coaching over Skype for inter-state and overseas clients. For me Skype has been an invaluable tool for my business and personally.
Now back to my client. As I mentioned my client loaded a button onto the website and away they went. So they thought! A few days after the said buttons were loaded I decided to visit the website and make sure the button's were working for my client. Guess what? No answer! I then sent a message through hoping that would work, three days later there was no response. I have since tried several times to contact my client using Skype and no answer.
If you are going to use Skype for business it is imperative you are accessible to a user. There are cost effective ways of adding a voice mail service to your Skype account to ensure you don't miss any callls. Imagine if my calls were that of a potential new customer or client, how frustrating would it be.
As I mentioned I love Skype, I think it is such a great service. If you use it for business though, I recommend making sure you have a way of capturing your callls. Let's face it you have a voicemail service on your mobile phone and most businesses have an answering machine or service on their land line. Treat Skype with the same level of service it shows respect to your caller.
I would love to hear your comments on how you use Skype for your business or personally
According to NeilsonWire the top Social Media websites in Australia for 2009 are Facebook with a 75% following, YouTube with a 70% following and Wikipedia with 65%. MySpace had a 48% following and Twitter just 35%. Don't let the 35% figure of Twitter fool you as the application has grown by 400% according to the latest report on the NeilsonWire Website. 38% of users also interacted with a brand using social media.
Looking at these figures to me it really indicates that small to medium enterprises need to embrace the social media avenues to stay in touch with their clients, customers and strategically aligned businesses.
I know for myself I have had some extremely positive results using social media for business. I have been fortunate enough to have some fabulous networking opportunities come my way which would not have happened with tradional marketing of my business. I have also had interaction with other businesses that has lead me to be invited to be a guest presenter. These opportunities were only possible through my business being seen and being at the right place at the right time, by the right person. Six - eight months ago my business would not have been at the right place, at the right time and seen by the right person, I just wasn't there. Besides my website and a few on-line directories my on-line presence was limited.
With social media sites growing in Australia Mr and Mrs Small to Medium Business Owner need to ask themselves the key question........... Are you media ready for Social and Tradional Media?
Mastering Media With Clarity - 21st April 2010 (See Events Page)
I remember many years ago about 25 I think, sitting at a training session. Huddled around an old cassette deck we listened how to set up our next big promotion. This was state of the art and one of the few retail groups in Australia to take training to this level. The group was very progressive and even today, looking back some of those initiatives are still in play in the retail sector.
Fast forward to 2010, we now have everything from the web, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, MySpace, Mybloglog, LinkedIn, Skype, Typepad, Wordpress and on and on it goes. The world has gone made for social media and social networking.
The insurgence of these types of arenas has caused businesses no matter how big or small to re-look at their marketing campaigns, their reach and their target market audience. Us Gen X's are flabbergasted at the whole change to the way we communicate. No longer is a brochure, newsletter or phone call going to cut it, we need to embrace the technology that was once something we only saw in Sci-Fi movies.
This AT&T commercial below just shows you that Social media and Networking can work in so many ways.
These are my thoughts, I would like to hear from you on your thoughts.