If you are in business then you need to network. Simple as! Without networking, nobody will know anything about you, your products, your services. Social Media marketing can make this happen, believe it or not, that is a fact!

I’m not talking about going to networking events, and wearing a name badge. I am talking about getting your brand known, by people that don’t know you. Whether you work locally, nationally or globally, without networking your business will die.

Now some say, without sales your business will die, true, but before you can sell something, people need to know you have something to sell. Whether you’re a commercial or not-for-profit organisation, people need to know about you, people need to associate your brand with an idea, product or service, before they will buy.

It is much easier to sell to people who know something about you, because you have interacted with them in some way in the past, and you’ve left a good impression. You have built a degree of trust between you and them, and as such, they ¬†will be much less hesitant to purchase from you.

How To Use Social Media To Build Trust

Have you heard about the concept of “Six Degrees of Separation”?

Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth Р( Wikipedia )

This concept, in my opinion, has moved from merely an ‘erm yeah ok neat’ type of declaration, to one which we’d be hard pressed to refute since the increase in use of social networks.

Leaving out the obvious (i.e. I’ve never met him so I don’t “know” him) but I am just one degree of separation from President Barack Obama (he follows me on Twitter).

The recruitment agents with whom I’m linked on LinkedIn, and many with whom I have no relationship, profess to know me even if they don’t; and everyone on Facebook knows everyone, it’s just that kind of place.

The thing is, depending on how you interact and how much of yourself you share on these sites, people can get to know you. They will know your likes and dislikes, what you enjoy reading, watching, talking about.

If like me, you list or talk about your interests on a personal blog, they will get a reasonably good insight into your lifestyle. All this helps them to build up a picture in their minds about you and what you do.

If you’re savvy enough, you can use social media to create and curate a picture, or series of pictures, that make people with whom you interact, think that they know what you’re about. Initially at least, you get to set the tone, you get to set the boundaries.

First Impressions Are Lasting Ones

First impressions keep going, and customers will continue to keep that impression until they receive information to the contrary. You want to continue making a good impression on a regular basis with customers, which is why you keep the relationship going by periodic (not spammy or overbearing) useful contact with them.

As part of your digital strategy, social media marketing can help you to keep your customers in close and regular contact. It allows you to reach out to them, and for them to reach out to you. It’s not always about a sale. It may be advice you solicit from them, or they request from you, it’s a caring, sharing two way street. Good communication always is.

Social media marketing is about building relationships, ones which you may come to rely on in the future to keep your business alive and well, and growing. The more you invest, is the more you’ll get in return.

Main image By Alexander van Dijk [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Morlene Fisher is an experienced Digital Consultant based in London, UK. She assists clients with finding the best digital solutions for their organisations and brings together many expert digital consultants to provide a service you can rely on.