It seems odd that social media marketers would need to be reminded that courtesy counts when it comes to online interactions with customers or potential clients, but sadly, that’s the case. Not everyone understands the true nature of relationship marketing and this lack of knowledge is clearly evident in the number of “honest mistakes” made by social media managers responsible for promoting their clients. They insult large groups of people, ignore others entirely, and generally conduct themselves as if they are a drunk frat boy rather than a working professional.
What’s The Answer? Common Sense
The answer to every great question in life is common sense. Treat others with respect if you expect respect in return; don’t be rude, crass or uncouth. Don’t admonish someone for their point of view, but do offer them alternatives. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. Open the doors, but leave the “walking through it” to them. That’s what the very best social media managers do.
Relationship marketing is all about building relationships. This cannot be accomplished with harsh words and rude conduct.
Lead, Follow Or Get Out Of The Way
When it comes to social media management you have to decide exactly how you want to conduct yourself. The decision is yours, but a lot rests on it. If you conduct yourself professionally, encourage interaction, respect everyone who comes along and provide positive encouragement, you are bound to reap more of what you sow.
If you don’t, well, whatever happens after that will be solely your fault.
Social networking began as a personal communication tool. Friendster, MySpace and Facebook were all about friendships and dating. Today of course, social media has also become another arm of marketing.
Increasingly, businesses are actively promoting their brands and products, and sharing thought leadership content through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. When you interact with your company’s followers on these sites, it’s great to be bold, intelligent, fun and thought-provoking. But it’s more important to not cross the lines of propriety. Nobody wants to be known as a “social media stalker.”
Here’s an example: let’s say someone tweets favorably about one of your competitors. Would you track down the Tweeter, and send them an email (or even a public retweet) disparaging the competitor in favor of your superior brand? Of course not.
But what if that same person mentioned that she was looking for new high-end golf clubs for the serious amateur, and you happen to market some that fit the bill? By all means, reply through Twitter with a teaser and link to your product page. Could you pass the tweet along to your sales team? Sure, but until the prospect shares their personal contact information with marketing or sales, it’s less creepy to communicate with her through Twitter.
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