The Importance of Client Relationships in a Social Media Internet Era
Change. That’s what happened a few years ago. It wasn’t a momentous sudden change, and nobody called it, at least initially, as they usually do with ideas that have potential. But social media came, penetrated contemporary society, and ended up conquering the business world without breaking a stride. It necessitated a shift in business mentality which ultimately meant less business and more focus on personal relationships.
Perhaps today, more than ever before, client relationships have come to play an integral part in the way businesses transact with their customers. The traditional marketing single-sale aim has been replaced with a sentiment that seeks to establish a long-term relationship with current and potential customers with the aim of fuelling long-term business potential. In today’s internet-enabled era, where finding and purchasing items no longer face the same geographical restrictions it did years ago, these relationships have become the bread and butter of most businesses that face an increasing amount of competition.
It’s important to keep in mind too that the advertising industry has changed significantly. Where premium ad space belongs to the big players in the traditional advertising world, it would seem that all businesses have been created equal on the internet. The affordability of technology has ensured that smaller businesses are able to compete with their multi-national competitors, often succeeding.
Steaz, an organic tea company, recently took to Facebook and Twitter about the benefits of organic tea. Downloadable coupons were offered as incentive, and resulted in 250,000 downloads with almost 2.900 tweets recorded in a single hour. The sale of Steaz organic teas doubled as a result. The company is still active on Facebook and Twitter, and has now extended its social reach with a new Instagram-based campaign. Like many other successful companies, Steaz offers support through a number of social channels to reach audiences wherever they like to spend their time.
Older, more established brands have equally realised the benefit of client relationships through social media, and seem to have taken the bull by the horns. HDTalking, a Harley Davidson social media outreach campaign, is an online forum specifically for Harley Davidson fans. The platform allows fans to share photos, trade, get information on where hard-to-find parts can be found, and receive assistance from the seven Harley Davidson mechanics who are online at all times. HDTalking has over 40,000 active members, and is almost entirely funded by users, and user-generated content.
Using Quizzle.com, personal finance software publisher Quicken launched a social outreach program with the aim to build long-term relationships with current and prospective customers. With free credit scores, home value reports, and mortgage recommendations as incentives, the company received more than 425,000 online visits and registered 70,000 new accounts without any money spent on tradition advertising.
Case studies like the three above are plentiful and easy to find on the internet. If anything, it proves that consumers expect the businesses they transact with to become less business, more human, and engage with them on their preferred social channels, as equals. It could very well be that the social businesses of today will probably be the only businesses of tomorrow.