In today’s online culture, it is almost too easy to avoid interacting with others. In an age when social media dominates our internet activity, marketers often send their audience information under the impression that personalization is the true desire of everyone’s hearts.
But people don’t just want information. People want relationships. Imagine the differentiating power if your company was to develop real relationships with your customers.
Let’s explore several key points:
1) Information Alone isn’t Enough
Engage your contacts with timely and insightful information that pertains to them. Become a resource. Nurture the relationship with relevant blogs, e-books, newsletters and videos until they are ready to buy.
We strive our best to share our content with people who find it relevant and interesting. But merely finding a blog interesting may not be enough. How can the value of one piece of content be determined by a summation of page views or a click rate? Value isn’t merely measured by your search ranking or social media likes and shares.
We produce all of this content based on what we think people will find beneficial. But at the end of the day, what is the true relevance to the individual? What are they supposed to do as a result of your content? Is it just something to “like”? Or is it something more?
2) People Want Relationships
In today’s culture, many people find themselves in need of relationships, so they search for them online. It’s why most of us engaged in social media in the first place! We didn’t join for the silly cat video we thought we might come across, or the blog article that ABC Company might just share some day in the future. But rather, we joined for the connections that we could have with other people.
Take LinkedIn for example. I would bet a lot of money that you didn’t go through all the trouble of setting up your personal profile so that Ace Hardware could share its latest sale on nylon Meat Claws with you (yes, they’re real). You joined because you wanted to connect with your peers, get in front of other companies looking for super qualified workers like you and connect with the people you will meet in the future. People online are craving relationships.
3) Live in the Comments Section
Companies today are practically pretending to be artificial intelligence (AI). They have polished, canned responses to any interactions they engage in and people can smell it. Odds are, some company’s idea of “personalized messaging” or “customized content” looks exactly like their competitor’s. Why? Because they forget to infuse themselves into their messaging. They miss one of their most powerful marketing assets, which is their company’s unique story, style, people and dedication to those who want to hear from them. And consumers know it too. Just look at the companies that communicate with you in your life—you know whether or not they are really there in their messages.
In a world where everything is going to AI, imagine the differentiating impact of a company that shares personal, honest stories and seeks out interaction with others. A company that invites the wanderers of the internet onto their social media page, and gives them what they actually signed up for in the first place…a relationship!
We’re in the business of likes and retweets when we should be in the business of REPLIES. And it all comes from being more genuine. That’s what will shine through in the heaps of generalized content in the internet. It’s not just teasing people’s interest with curious blog titles. It’s being true to your company’s story, and sharing that personal story with others. It’s going above and beyond in the comments section of your social media channels. It’s taking the time to act like company made up of real people instead of one made up of machines.
Be honest with the world. Share who you are. Reach out to people where they are and connect with them. In the end, it’s the only thing that will differentiate us from the rising AI workforce.
If you’re looking for ways to help your team develop meaningful business relationships with their network, check out our Business Relationship Master Class. You can also reach out to Brandon Ferris at 440-449-6800 or email Brandon.