zenith pr has been busy over the last few weeks delivering a series of social media training workshops for different businesses and organisations.

One workshop focused on owner-run small businesses. Two more packed out sessions were delivered to members of Dublin City BID and included representatives from the city’s department stores, shopping centres, galleries, restaurants and fashion retailers. A fourth workshop was attended by an Environmental platform’s communication managers from all over Europe. 

Very different participants with very different needs, budgets, knowledge and resources.

My message to all was the same.

Your brand is what your customers say it is. And they are saying it online.

Rather than putting together some Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn strategies; when it comes to social media, you need just one - a relationship strategy.

Many workshop participants had already initiated a social media strategy, set up their Facebook page and had started Tweeting, only to become quickly disillusioned at the lack of immediate results and proper engagement with their customers.

Yes, Social media allows businesses and organisations to interact with their target audiences directly but it takes time and strategic planning to build and grow meaningful relationships with them.

Any brand or business engaging with their customers through social media should adopt a relationship strategy that is based on caring:

1.      Be generous. 

Refer and recommend. Give away your expertise. Help first, sell second.

2.      Be Open.

Open your business up. Let your guard down and be yourself. Involve your customers in your success.

3.      Be Accountable.

Encourage customer loyalty. Allow your customers to share their experience of your business. Be sincere and stand by your commitments.

Embarking on a social media ‘relationship strategy’ must be a significant exercise in meeting long term objectives and not just an ‘add on’ to communications activities. It takes time and dedication to nurture relationships on social media platforms and you need to be committed, creative and consistent to get the most out them.

Do you need advice on how to develop your social media relationship strategy?

Contact us to book a group or one to one training session.