The Power of Relationship Marketing and Social Media

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At the September Linked OC event, “How to Build a Large, Loyal + Profitable Network using the Social Web," Social Media Marketing expert Mari Smith introduced us to her new book “The New Relationship Marketing” coming out on October 25, 2011.  In her presentation, Mari outlined a proven nine-step program for building a sizable, loyal network comprised of quality relationships that garner leads, publicity, sales, and more. The pressure is on to shift your approach to using social media marketing, to better understand the new soft skills required for success on the social web, and to improve your own leadership and relationship skills through emotional and social intelligence. The New Relationship Marketing offers proven tactics to develop and hone a solid marketing skill set for the digital age.

Today, social media provides “the ability to connect anyone with anything in the world” explains Mari. Although many companies might take it for granted, they have it much easier than in the past. Companies both small and large can reach wider audiences online than every imaginable before the dot com boom. The average Facebook user has 135 friends, and she will likely be influencing her friends’ buying behavior. As a brand in the toy and entertainment industry, it’s important to be connected with your customers across all social platforms. Mari suggests talking to your fans as if you’re in conversation with them. You can really make someone’s day by staying personal with your customers online. You have an opportunity to throw your own net and build a huge and loyal fan base!

I was personally inspired to start my social media marketing agency because of Mari. I believe that Social Media is the future of the toy industry especially with online gaming, and the power of play. Both moms and their children are looking for the best products to play with, and brands need to be active on social media in order to make a difference. I truly respect Mari Smith’s expertise in social media and encourage you to read her books “Facebook Marketing” and the up and coming “The New Relationship Marketing”.

Here is a recap in regards to what I learned about the New Relationship Marketing:

  • Make your customers feel like they are important to you. Starbucks does a great job at this using customer engagement to study customer behavior and provide results. Starbucks succeeded at engaging with their customers by finally offering free wifi last year after many customer requests and complaints.

  • Build long term relationships with your customers. The longer relationships are sustained, the more profitable your company will be.  
  • Create a Strategic Email Marketing Campaign.  Businesses need to collect their customer’s data into an organized email list and provide monthly newsletters to their contacts to share important information about the company as well as new product launches.  
  • Be Real.  Connect with people online and offline. When online, make sure you think before you post content. Channel your inner introvert.  
  • Skills to Remember when using Social Media:

    • Have empathy. People value strong customer service. Reward your customers and always say thank you. Be caring and have compassion towards your customers.
    • Learn to be Tech Savvy. Sign up for social media softwares like HootSuite that help you organize your accounts and allow you to schedule posts in advance. On Twitter, create lists of influencers in your industry and monitor keyword searches relevant to your brand.  
    • Focus on Quality not Quantity.  Mari posts 3 times a day at maximum on Facebook (she has over 50,000 fans). We recommend posting once a day at the same time. It’s important to be consistent on Social Media and your fans will look forward to your reading your content specifically at that time.  You also need to stay aligned with your brand’s image.
    • Personal vs. Professional vs. Private.  Make sure your content is always good enough for the front page of the New York Times before you post it. Anything you post will probably end up on Google, so keep that in mind.
    • FOCUS: Follow One Course Until Successful
    • Cherry Pick: to find your best social media content.

    To learn more about Mari Smith:
    Facebook.com/marismith
    Twitter: @marismith
    www.marismith.com

    Stay in touch with Suzanne Mills Winkler:
    Facebook.com/millswinkler
    Twitter: @suzannewinkler
    www.ddw.us.com

    2 thoughts

    1. When you build your people-to-people marketing skills, you also open the door to more business opportunities because a personal connection experience leaves a a long-lasting impression also very same with social media.

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