Relationship Marketing | The CONNECTION Online Marketing Campaign
12/20/2011 — elloAgency of the Flathead Valley
Out of the FIVE ONLINE CAMPAIGNS we recommend, this campaign is the single most important online marketing campaign. If followed up proactively, the connections made using these social media sites are the key to producing new business customers for any company. Surprisingly, over 80% of the businesses we review fail miserably in the executing of this most important campaign.
Connection sites are those relationship sites which allow you to connect, follow, befriend, join with, or make acquaintances with businesses and individuals who meet your target market and/or demographic criteria.
Although many of these social media or relationship developing sites offer other types of marketing tools and features, we are only addressing the connection potential in this article.
Merchant Circle: This is a business to business or B2B networking site which offers connecting, enticement, blogging, and review marketing tools. You can select the city and type of business you want to connect with and Merchant Circle sends a connection request to the business on your behalf.
Many business managers state that they want to network with individuals not companies. Well, at the end of the work day, when those business managers lock the front door they become what? Individual consumers.
Google+: This is a multipurpose connection site which allows you to add any kind of connection you can imagine; acquaintances, businesses, associates, individuals, friends, family, co-workers, Etc. You can set your connections up by target market, demographic, location, Etc.
You simply, add people to whatever CIRCLES you create and they receive an email notice which gives them the option to add you to their circles in return.
Twitter: This is one of the most effective online social media sites for generating connections. It allows the user to create two lists: FOLLOWERS and FOLLOWING. The catch here is to maintain your target market and demographic standard so you are working with people or companies that could actually be customers. For example, Twitter will allow anyone to follow you, from anywhere in the world, and will allow you to follow anyone anywhere in the world.
There are two important factors to consider while you are connecting. First, if the followers could be customers you can organize them on lists, if they could not be, I recommend you block them. If you do not you will be surfing through tweets that are of no value to you. The second point is to only follow Twitter accounts which are within your target market or demographic. Anyone else is a waste of valuable marketing time. In other words, do not follow someone because you like their content, follow them because they could be a customer.
Facebook: This site is great for two types of connections. Connecting with people you know is the main criteria. This means you are befriending people you know; friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances. Also, this is a social media site that you can use for secondary connections with the people you have connected with on the other connection sites above.
Use extreme caution when sending friend requests on Facebook. If you send a multitude of requests to people you do not know and the receivers complain enough about receiving friend requests of this nature, Facebook can and will close your account without notice.
However, most business-type people, who are trying to build their online connections, will not mind if you send them a request, whether you know them or not.
LinkedIn: Very similar in the type of connects and policies as Facebook, but this site targets business professionals. The emails received to connect from LinkedIn inform the recipient that you would like to add them to your professional network.
Again, what is important here is that you and the person you are requesting a connection with are supposed to already know each other before you send a request. Again, typically, if a business who is trying to build their online influence through connections receives a request from someone who meets their target market/demographic standard, they usually will gladly accept the offer to connect professionally.
Klout: One of the newest connection sites and also one of the most powerful for developing relationship connections. This site not only allows you to make connections, it also offers a tool for you to acknowledge and/or compliment a person’s talent and/or area of expertise during the connection process. For example, you want to connect with a real estate agent. You can send them a “K” for REAL ESTATE which will improve their influence rating on Klout and the Internet, in general. Now who does not like a good referral or compliment concerning their area of expertise.
There you have today’s top six CONNECTION generating sites which are considered to be crucial to the success of any type of online marketing campaign. Please remember that making the right connections is only half of the equation. The FOLLOW UP is where the new business customers will come from, not the initial connection. If all you do is create connections you are just wasting your time.
New connections sites are popping up on the Internet every day. When that happens we add them to our MyCMS Network packages, but most of these are secondary in production of connections to the sites listed above.