How is your company using social media? Are you using it to promote products or services? Connect with your customers? Build relationships? All of the above? If you answered promote products or services and did not include the others you are doing it wrong. Yes, you are doing it wrong. While social media can be a great sales “tool” it is about building relationships and connecting. If you do that the sales will come. I promise you.

Research finds that building customer relationships on social media will help brands to improve their bottom line. When consumers felt connected to a brand, more than half increased their spending with that company. So, how do you start developing these relationships with potential customers?

Building customer relationships is all about your customers finding value in what you are delivering.

If you can provide informative, educational, or entertaining content, people will want to see more of you. Instead of thinking of it as selling something, think of it as giving something to them. If you listen to your followers’ needs, they will find value in your content.

Now that you are listening, when your customers engage with you. respond. Yes, you need to respond to direct messages, comments, all the things. Almost half of those who ask questions or send messages expect an answer within 30 minutes. If they don’t get it, they are annoyed.

Responding quickly is essential, but a standard automated message may not be the answer. A bot can help keep the customer engaged,  but only if you can follow up with real human interaction shortly after. Respond to your customers like a trusted friend, your discussions with them will engage them or drive them away.

When talking to your customers or potential customers directly:

  • Use their first name
  • Close with your name or company name
  • Most importantly, be friendly, make sure the person you are interacting with knows you care!

Make sure your posts show the personality of your company and its employees! Show your human side and people will respond.

It is critical to now only respond to the positive folks on your social media sites, but the negative ones as well! Don’t ignore negative feedback, address it head-on, and if it is a valid issue promise to do better! Success is transforming an unhappy customer or follower into a positive one!

Ask your followers or customers what they want to see, engage them, appreciate them, and acknowledge them.

Sunfest Media is a social media marketing company located in New Smyrna Beach, Fl. Specializing in helping small companies build relationships through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google My Business. For more information contact us at