As with all other online marketing solutions, one social media site doesn’t fit all organizations. The key thing that organizations need to remember is the need to serve and support. That is the way to sell. Social media efforts must have value. There has to be value to get people to engage. Social media doesn’t sell things—people sell things. Engaging in social media marketing starts the relationship-building process. The focus of many organizations is usually the bottom line. The new bottom line is that the organization is now in the relationship business. Social media is not going to magically make sales. Instead, it supports organizations in making, building, and growing relationships. Look critically at online marketing and see how it communicates who the organization is, what they do, and who they serve. Does the organization’s web marketing have valuable information, attract quality visitors, share helpful information, educate, and enlighten people to build the know, like, and trust factors? When there is a connection, sales happen—and happen again.
When a web marketing strategy has a clear purpose, intention, desire to offer superlative service, and partnership, and it employs commitment to communication, then it supports sales. It is time to start thinking in terms of relationship ROI.
Is every blog post or tweet going to make sales? Probably not. But when users continue to learn, connect, become more empowered, and have a great cyber-relationship with an organization through social media connections, a professional success equation happens that yields results every time: Responsibility + Relationships = Rewards.
Regardless of where the primary online marketer resides on the org chart hierarchy, they should own the use of web marketing and be a proactive participant in social media. Organizations really thriving with social media have all team members taking a responsibility role. When we take responsibility, we take our professional contributions personally and the outcome is always greater than not feeling a sense of ownership. Taking responsibility for social media will increase the chances of success.
Relationships are everything. Repeat—relationships are everything! To make social media work, get out of the business of selling and into the business of serving. You build relationships via social media with meaningful marketing messages, social media community networking, and content, and by being authentic.
Social media can show rewards via increased traffic (web analytics will show this) and conversion rates. Sometimes customers may tell you that it was a blog post that made them want to call. That may not compute in web traffic logs, but it is a relationship return on investment that helps build trust and differentiate an organization enough to prompt a potential customer to want to work with you.