Posted by: milenaregos | April 5, 2010

The importance of relevance and relationships

A well done social media strategy requires many elements and considerations. There are two main elements, however, that every brand must adopt. There are:

1. Relevance of message

2. Relationships

On the topic of relevance of message

Is your message relevant to your audience? This question is so simple yet so many marketers ignore it in their effort to broadcast their message to as many people as possible. Sure, there is validity in getting your message out to as many “eyeballs” as you can. It’s a sheer numbers game.  To be effective, it requires big budgets and media placement. Yet, today’s consumer is changing. He/she are is more educated, more aware, web savvy and requires personal attention.  Personally, I’m getting bombarded with so many messages every day that I feel I have developed ADD lately. Facebook messages, Twitter updates, emails, IMs, Foursquare, LinkedIn updates, YouTube updates, the list goes on and on.  The result is that I only pay attention to the things that really matter to me. Your consumers are the same. If your message is not relevant to them, they will ignore it. What’s worst, if you continue to bombard them with irrelevant messages, they will lose trust in your brand and unsubscribe from your messages, delete you as a friend, stop following you. I know I have already stopped following brands on Facebook because of the constant flow of irrelevant messages they send me. They don’t really care about me as a consumer. All they care about is to broadcast their message.Why should I care about them?

What do you think? Are you getting tired of companies, pretending to want to be your friend on social media and bombarding you with irrelevant messages?

Apple is a good example of delivering relevant messages on Facebook. Instead of having one big Apple Facebook page and sending out constant messages to their fans, they have created various Facebook pages that are relevant to the consumer. For example, you can become a friend of their App Store Facebook page where you will get updates only on new and interesting apps for your iPhone.  For iTunes fans, Apple created country specific Facebook pages, so the users receive relevant messages to their location. You can join Apple iTunes pages for US here. I’m pleased to see that Apple is entering the social media world and they are doing it wisely. Putting effort on relevance of message is crucial to the success of your social media strategy.

On the topic of relationships

In our effort to build social capital, are we trading off relationships for numbers; relevance for massive shout-outs. My advice to every marketer right now is stop paying attention to the numbers and start building relationships. A digital handshake is still a handshake. A company can only build trust if they value the relationship they have with a consumer. When you pay attention to the numbers on your Facebook page or Twitter account you care less about engagement and the person behind the photo. Stop looking for the influentials and start paying more attention to your loyal customers. Most likely, they are connected to your social networks and have expressed their loyalty. Reward their behavior and watch your social network grow thanks to them.

To create positive word of mouth, you need advocates. Start building relationships online today and start turning your customers into advocates for your brand. David Nour speaks about relationship building on his blog. Word of mouth is the best marketing strategy you can build. I’d rather have 10 people who I know will speak highly of my company to all of their friends than be connected to 100 strangers. Your social network is important but it’s only valuable if the relationships are real. As marketers, it’s time to start thinking more about trust and relationships with our consumers and less about numbers. My two cents.

Do you believe in these two elements? How are you using them in your strategy? What other crucial components can you add?

You can follow me on Twitter at @milenaregos or read my blog at http://outandaboutmarketing.com.

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Responses

  1. […] the Sm@rt blog about relevance of message and the value of relationships. You can check it out the Sm@rt social media for business website. An agency can help you establish your plan, explain the tools and how to use them, set up your […]


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