Getting the balance right on any of your social networks is a very hard thing to master. We know you think you have a great new product that people should be talking about every second of the day, but without a basis of a relationship, a loyalty already built up, why are people going to care? And whoâ€™s to say they wonâ€™t just get bored of your sales pitch and simply switch off your channel?
This is why we think the most important thing to concentrate on, above all, is ensuring that your social media focuses on conversation not promotion. And the big dogs agree.
Speaking recently at Marketing Weekâ€™s The Annual conference on smart thinking, working and engagement, Starbucks VP of marketing Brian Waring spoke of using their social media platforms as a way to have conversations and gather information with their consumers rather than a stage to sell from.
â€œFacebook allows us to have a real time conversation with fans and weâ€™re approaching it from the perspective of a relationship, not a promotional tool,â€
â€œWeâ€™re making friends not promotions online and using it in a conversational way, not a marketing way.â€
And whilst Starbucks has a following of over 14 million fans on Facebook this ethos works for small businesses too. Building relationships with your customers, engaging with them, responding to good and bad criticism alike is a breeding ground for brand loyalty.
Waring adds: â€œIn order for customers to be loyal to brands, brands need to be loyal to customers.â€ We couldnâ€™t agree more. Whilst you might not like Starbucks as brand, theyâ€™ve got to be doing something right to have generated an already 10 million strong global army. We suggest you check out their social media pages on both Facebook and Twitter to see how they are using these platforms to create long-lasting, valued customer relationships without a sales pitch in sight.