Social media is obviously here to stay as it just becomes more and more powerful over the years. While the format has changed from your MySpaces to your Twitters and Facebooks and what not, social media is absolutely everywhere now. More pertinent to you, social media is becoming one of the most important aspects of public relations, and the trend doesn’t seem to have an end.
The other day, though, I started to wonder: are these relationships we’re building with customers, clients, and the general public real? We all know things change and what works now won’t work in ten years or even one year. Will our social media efforts amount to anything circumstantial in years to come or will these efforts appear as misguided?
A New Era
Social media interactions with the public have brought in a new era of sorts to public relations. Never before have we seen such an open dialogue with our customers and clients. If they have a problem or concern they don’t have to sit on a phone for hours trying to get in contact with us. Now they can just hop on our Facebook page and leave a message.
Yeah, they could do that with email. But when they leave that message on the Facebook page other customers can see it, which is the real “new era” I mean. This public message means we have to act fast or things could get out of hand, especially if the problem they’re complaining about is a common one.
So what does this mean for the future? The more you talk to people the more you’re building up relationships with them, no matter if it’s a casual chat or a serious talk about an error. In the end, does it really matter how you meet people? On the Internet, at a social event, or standing behind a register – it’s all the same thing in the end, isn’t it?
The real issue at stake I think is how “busy” everyone is online. We may think we’re talking to a customer who loves talking to us back, but in the end it’s just ones and zeroes. After a while you could try to contact that same customer again and they may take a minute to remember you talked at one point.
However, I think that just proves how social media is a continuous effort. Even today you can’t just post a few things here and there and expect results; true social media needs constant work, both with putting yourself out there and talking to others who have stumbled upon your page.
Why would the future be any different? As a matter of fact, I predict social media in the future will become even more hectic. The options for a customer on the Internet continues to widen, and it won’t get any easier with the popularity of tablets and smartphones (and Google Glass, etc.).
So while there may be some superficiality when it comes to social media relationships, I don’t think it’s any different than other business relationships. In reality, these contacts you’re making now could stay around for a very long time due to how open and public everything is in social media.
Do you have any long-term social media relationships with customers?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three ebooks, including My Facebook Formula, a free report on Facebook and why you should be using the largest social network for your business, here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/freebooks.html