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The False Relationship Economy

In today's world of social networking and media, many have false relationships with no value, and brag about it. Here's how NOT to waste time with social networking.

This won't be an article where I bash social media, stating that it is a complete waste of time. Social networking does work if you know how to use it. I'll share some of those tips here.

Instead I want to highlight the false security individuals place in weak relationships started by these tools. Being connected to someone in Twitter isn't a relationships. It's a good research tool, but not a substitute for every other way to connect with buyers.

If you are serious about cultivating relationships with prospective customers, you need to do something for each of your contacts. To be practical, you'll need to spend time with each of your contacts.

Doesn't micro blogging with Twitter help this cultivation? Many feel that blogging or twittering builds a relationship with followers, but it's only one way. A real relationship is a reciprocal arrangement where both parties get something.

Here's how to value your social networking relationships:

  1. Are you collecting numbers or contacting people? Focus first on serving the people connected to you, then the numbers. Remember, a person is on the other end of that contact.
  2. Do you know the core concerns of each individual connected to you? The more you know about what your connections want, the more you can serve them (both monetarily and relationally.)
  3. Are you providing real confirmed value to each connection? Real value is interactive, and can be measured by the quality of conversation it creates.
  4. How have you helped your contacts accomplish something today? People will follow you when they get something out of it, relationships are built on the quality of those results.

Of course, I will admit, get enough followers and it really doesn't matter about individual needs, now you are working with demographics. When you have more than 25,000 followers, now you are in a broadcast position. The same questions apply, except now you are looking at segments of your list, rather than individuals.

No matter how large your following, you still need the 75 to 150 core audience relationships if you want to be successful with business relationships. The concepts I share here will help you turn contacts into relationships, while growing your business using any media.

Social networking and media are just another tool to help understand your customers. Use it as a research tool and simple communications channel, but don't abuse it. Are you building relationships or just connecting?

© 2008 Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved.

Justin Hitt helps business-to-business industrial and technology service providers turn business relationships into profits. To talk about challenges you face, visit https://www.justinhitt.com/
/ social-networking | relationship-realms /

By Justin Hitt at April 2, 2009 8:23 AM  Subscribe in a reader


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