As a recent Portland Business Journal article by Terry Brock demonstrates, certain misconceptions about social media are still commonplace. Many businesses are stifling their own success because of these misconceptions.
To be clear, social media helps individuals and businesses develop beneficial relationships and connections.
On one end of the spectrum, some people are apprehensive about opening lines of communication and cultivating honest/transparent customer friendships. (Obviously, that’s a very bad apprehension to hold on to. Less communication equals fewer and weaker customer relationships.)
But, as the article makes clear, some people are apprehensive about emerging technologies and social media for a different reason. Some see it as a hindrance to real human connections. They’d rather stick with, for example, their phone (to use an example from the article).
If this describes you, I’d like to stress that many online platforms enable you to interact with your customers in ways that a phone doesn’t do. Along with phone calls, many businesses deeply enhance customer connections by integrating photo sharing, video communications, micro-blogging and more.
As Terry Brock says,
So, what’s the key for a dedicated, serious-minded Relationship Marketer to do? Well, I am not a “Twitter guru” (I’ll leave that ominous title to others) but I do know a thing or two about Relationship Marketing. Use these tools in moderation to help others. Don’t just toot your own horn but find ways to provide value for them.
… Bottom line? Commit to being a Relationship Marketer with genuine care to solve the other person’s problems. Next, learn the nuts, bolts and wiggle pins of new technologies that make sense for you. Don’t get frazzled. No, these Social Media tools are not the demise of real human connections.
Used properly, they can help us strengthen and grow genuine, real relationships for profit and mutual benefit in business.