How To Connect With Anybody

We are an audience of many. Our connections open the doors to new relationships in business and life in general. Technology has shifted when and how we communicate. Shifts in communication and new technology brings us to a point where we must be nimble and adapt without losing site of the people factor. Some of the most agile and successful individuals are those who master the art of relating to others.

What does it take to build long lasting authentic relationships?

Trust.

Our society places a great deal of importance on gaining trust. If being polite is a building block of human relations then gaining the trust of your audience is the glue that makes everything stick. Regardless of industry or expertise, winning the hearts and minds of your connections can help elevate you to a position of trust agent, confidant, and maybe even the go-to expert*.

Here are a few fundamental dynamics of building trust:

1. Authenticity

2. Reverberation

3. Empathy

4. Sincerity

5. Credibility

*Nobody’s an expert. We are all students on a unique journey to leave our own mark.

Social Media Marketing Experiencing Growing Pains

The social media frenzy has seemed to take a bit of a backseat lately. Not everyone is talking about how to take advantage of social media and the role of communication. Not much of a bubble but it does seem that social media is growing up. Social media has taken hold of various industries causing a stir and helping to open up numerous opportunities for greater communication.

Brands of all shapes and sizes seem to have their own accounts on the more popular networks which is expected and certainly does add an element of validation to those who have supported new media. However, three elements exist that will determine the success of one’s social media efforts.

1. Measurement

2. Analysis

3. Learning

Social media has opened up a tremendous amount of information sharing and conversation. The challenge lies in our ability to use this activity and turn it into bottomline growth.

Some key questions:

How can we truly measure the conversation stream?

Where do we focus our analytics?

What windows of opportunity exist as we participate in social media?

The individuals and brands who focus their efforts on these three elements will achieve significant returns on their investment. Success in this arena is not solely based on data but rather on creating and capturing true audience value.

Why Your Experience Gap Matters

Every interaction is an opportunity to offer world-class customer service. No customer is too big or too small. Each person we come into contact with deserves the best service and attention we can muster up.

The principles and importance of quality customer service apply to all interactions regardless of industry or technology.

We must ask ourselves the following questions:

  • What are we doing to reward others for their peaked interest in our brand and what we have to offer?
  • Are my twitter followers acknowledged for their retweets and mentions?
  • Do we treat every interaction as if we’re speaking to the C.E.O. or does our conversational tone vary based on the position, popularity, or experience of our audience?
  • Are we consistent in offering quality material across all our communication mediums?

Important questions for us to ask as we continue towards building a strong social graph and rewarding fan base.

The Power of Being Connected

If content is king then connections run the royal kitchen making things happen. We are armed with a network of valuable informational + creative communication conduits.
Connections keep the stream flowing and the water boiling. Our audience is an important stakeholder in our quest to cook up the perfect social media feast.

Content channeled through connections leads to amplification.

Get out there and connect!

Content Is Still King

The battle for audience awareness is in full swing. The race to build a community of raving fans and brand advocates is miles long.
However, some still forget about the ultimate shortcut to engagement and relevance.

Content.

Quality content can be the key that unlocks new doors of opportunity and influence.

Content matters.

An Emotional Trap

Our environment is ripe with information, updates, entertainment, and a variety of media. Emotions lead to a strong desire to express ourselves. Oftentimes, we run to the internet to stake our claim, make our case, or just plain vent without considering the potential outcome of our digital rants.

We tend to forget that the internet is a massive vault in which our ideas, expressions, thoughts, and opinions are easily stored but not easily removed. The tasks involved with erasing a tweet, removing a blog post, or shutting down a website can be numerous and challenging making it important for us as content producers and social media participants to remember what we publish will make its way to the visual aperture of today’s audiences. It is almost impossible to avoid the trap of disregard in the online arena.

Before you tweet…blog…or comment…think twice.

Kind of like measuring twice before you cut that last piece of lavish mahogany.

The V.I.P. Treatment

A customer walks into your establishment interested in making a purchasing decision. How do you respond? Do you evaluate this person’s attire? Do you take a peak outside to see if they’re driving a Mercedes? Is an attempt made to measure this new visitor against the scales of an A and B customer?

The essence of customer service and the arena of social media place an enormous responsibility on today’s brands to rethink their strategy. Gone are the days where one could simply ignore or look past a potential buyer. The social media and customer relationship landscape places a significant importance on recognizing the value of each and every customer that visits your website or walks through the door.

The potential for a public relations crisis and customer service dilemma is magnified because of the massive audience and armies of influence made possible through word of mouth and social media.

How you treat your customers has always been important but today’s environment is a whole new playing field making it vital that marketers appreciate the value and potential of their customer base. Each transaction is an opportunity to perform and over deliver.

Why not give that new customer the V.I.P. treatment and turn them into another raving fan, brand advocate, and satisfied customer?

How Much is Your Audience Worth?

Brands and individuals alike are participating in social media in an effort to foster engagement and build influence. The power of social media is a unique study. However, the process and dynamics involved with using new media effectively can indeed be challenging. One of the biggest factors affecting an organization’s social media success is the value they place on their consumers and overall target audience. Are your followers simply game for relentless and pointless advertising or are they actually a worthwile audience through which you can build a mutually rewarding community?

Ron Artest of the Los Angeles Lakers places a huge value on his audience. He recognizes the interest that his fans put into his game and the team he plays on. Need proof?

How about $18,000 dollars worth of proof?

Number 37 of the Los Angeles Lakers recently rewarded one of his twitter fans with courtside seats to game one of the 2010 N.B.A. Finals. Talk about audience engagement!

When asked about why he gave away the tickets, Ron responded:

“…I though the fans deserved to sit courtside.”

Where do your fans deserve to sit?