We had a great show on relationship marketing with expert Mari Smith, author of The New Relationship Marketing.
About our guest: Mari Smith is a social media expert and trainer who is considered the queen of Facebook. She was dubbed “the Pied Piper of the Online World” by Fastcompany.com. http://www.marismith.com/books/
People have always done business with people they know, like, and trust. That’s what relationship marketing is all about. In today’s world, thanks to social networking online, there are new, more direct ways of connecting with potential fans, buyers, associates, etc. Mari explains how it all works.
* Traditional marketing focuses on the transaction and closing the sale.
* Relationship marketing focuses on building long-term relationships with customers and clients. Social media makes this kind of relationship building easier than ever.
For example, Facebook has reduced the six degrees of separation to four, Mari says.
That means if you really want to go after specific influencers or potential clients you can court them via social media. You will find all manner of information on them. Do your homework and come into the relationship demonstrating that you care, that you know something about them.
The Hollywood Squares approach
Mari thought it was cool to use this idea: she created a grid of 16 to 25 people similar to the game show. The squares can include celebrities or influencers – these are people you’d like to meet, share information with, etc. Once your squares have been filled you must be deliberate and strategic about reaching out to them. Handpick individuals you really want to meet. Mari had 20 people on her squares and has finally met all of them; she’ll now work on her next set.
What are some things you can do before a networking event? Mari says: do homework. People want to be seen, heard and acknowledged. With minimal effort you can find out about people in advance using social media.
Mari uses the hashtag on Twitter, which helps to group Tweets together from the same event such as #BlogWorld. Mari will reach out to people she’d like to network with, Tweet to them and indicate she is looking forward to meeting them.
Using social media wisely
How much time should anyone spend networking on social media? Mari believes 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the afternoon is the minimum. If you can do two 20-minute sessions per day, even better.
Keep yourself disciplined. Otherwise you can get caught up in other things like the latest celebrity scandal. Just make sure you handle the actual relationship building. You can outsource someone to select the content you choose to share on social media, Mari says, but you should be the one actively reaching out to others to create and maintain relationships.
Generating good content is one half of the equation for relationship marketing. Engagement is the other half, although you have to make it a strategic engagement in order to get your target people into your sales funnel. You have to have good content to attract them initially and then engagement allows you to build relationships and keep them.
A word on Google+
There’s been some hype about Google+ stealing Facebook’s momentum. Mari doesn’t believe that, but Google+ is growing its own extremely loyal fan base. Silicon Valley is very devoted – people you never found on social media before have adopted Google+. They are not taking away from Facebook but creating a whole new category.
Please join us Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012 at 4 p.m. Pacific for Special Guest Jim Kukral:
For over 15 years, Jim Kukral has helped small businesses and large companies like FedEx, Sherwin Williams, Ernst & Young and Progressive Auto Insurance understand how to:
* Build successful new online businesses or energize and refresh existing ones
* Leverage social media for more sales, leads and publicity
* Create imaginative marketing campaigns that get talked about
* Innovate new products and services that could positively change your business bottom line
* Attract first-class publicity that actually means something and gives an ROI
* Make more profits with less work