The Business of Digital Relationships

The following is a guest blog post submitted by Greater Mankato Growth member, Julie Fredrickson of J. Fre Consulting, LLC. The blog post is about the importance of digital relationships with your customers.

Are you part of a Greater Mankato member business and have an interest in writing a guest blog for us? Send 500-800 words to [email protected] or reach out to Greater Mankato Growth with further questions.

Being active on social media in your business is a way to build relationships, specifically customer relationships, without spending time with each in-person. It’s a platform for networking, education, customer service and inspiration wrapped into a convenient little digital package and accessible by your potential customer whenever they are ready and shopping for what you offer.

Recently, Ryan Serhart, Star of Million Dollar Listing New York, posted this on LinkedIn: “Nobody likes to be sold to, but they love shopping with their friends!” So, don’t think of your social media presence as advertising or sales, but think of it as making friends with, even dating, your customers.  They are trying to get to know you and see if there is a connection there. 

You will want to look nice, but be yourself. 

Nobody wants to get into a relationship based on lies. False or vague promises are a relationship killer. Getting super confrontational or negative is a real turn-off, to your date, or a customer. 

Don’t get too serious early on. 

Most don’t appreciate talking about marriage and kids on the first few dates. Often talking about religion, politics, or the like is also a no-no.

Passionate professionals tend to get into the weeds with information that is overwhelming to the consumer. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Worry more about the relationship than the sale.

Gestures of caring and giving make a big impact. 

Expert marketer, Gary Vaynerchuck (also known as Gary Vee), owner of Vayner Media, VaynerX, and others wrote a book entitled “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” a reference to giving three times more than you ask for. Give, give, give, call to action. Educate, educate, educate, sell.  You get the idea.

If their friends “Like” you, your chances increase substantially!

When you meet someone new, you can’t know who they all know, and the opinions they have of you. With your business on Facebook, though, you sort of do and it can work completely for you, and sometimes against you.  When a potential customer sees your business page, Facebook automatically shows them who of their “friends” “Like” your page or if they’ve recommended you. Classic case of social media working for you!

There are many analogies we could make about dating and earning customers through social media, but here are the facts.

It’s okay if not everyone likes you. 

Studies show that most consumers believe a 5.0 rating is fake or fabricated.  (Employees or a company paid to make all fake 5 star ratings to drown out the real lower ratings.) Your best bet is to fall between 4.3 and 4.7. The key is to have enough reviews to matter, so ask for them and make it easy to complete!

Start digital relationships with AIR

Make an effort to share content that is:

A – Authentic

I – Inspirational

R – Relatable

This content makes you memorable and easy to connect with.  Great examples of this include:

  • Stories about your long-term employees
  • Employee Appreciation
  • Community Participation
  • Company History
  • Family Involvement
  • Make conversation

Gone are the days of building the entirety of your brand off of coy, funny, surprising, or shocking interruption marketing. Start a conversation about your brand, your product or service, the things they impact, and your mission. Everyone would prefer to do business with someone they like, so be you and chill on the salesman role. That doesn’t mean not to ask for the sale, but first, be likable and helpful.

Still feeling like you might need a “matchmaker” of sorts?  J. Fre Consulting is available for onsite consulting with you and your team. Wouldn’t you rather build profitable, long-term relationships than closing sporadic, one-time sales leaving your customers with regret?