Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > Can You Feel the Love? 5 Ways to Get Your Business Out of the Friend Zone.

Can You Feel the Love? 5 Ways to Get Your Business Out of the Friend Zone.

February 9, 2017
By Sammie Schneider
Social Media Marketing Coordinator
AGA Productions

This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.

It’s that time of year again. Valentine’s Day is here, seeking to remind us all to love each other. Some are already in relationships, expecting cheap boxes of those Russell Stover assorted chocolates. Others are not quite there and depend on this day to push past the Friend Zone.

emoji faces - Digital Marketing Boot CampBut what does this have to do with digital media and business? Well, it turns out brands experience the same effects of Valentine’s Day. Brands are constantly in the Friend Zone with potential consumers until a contract is signed. Every company wants to share the sweet, cream-filled delight of loyalty with their consumers, but doesn’t want to take the cheap Russell Stover route.

Social media platforms are the key to being the Lady Godiva of your streets. To be bold, modest, and leave a legacy. I’m not suggesting you ride horseback and naked through your town to prove your allegiance to the people of your community. Just be authentic and stand by what you claim. After all, a brand is a promise to a consumer. Make sure your social media reflects and enhances that promise.

MORE: Learn more about improving your relationship with clients at the Digital Marketing Boot Camp, Feb. 15

That being said, here are the five steps to help you move toward a relationship with a client.

1. Make a confident approach

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If business with this client is your goal, then approach them confidently and be ready with reasons why it will work and why you are the best option for them. Don’t just stand by, frustrated, as you watch said client “date” another company. Think about how many relationships start on social media. Someone “likes” an Instagram post and suddenly sparks are flying. How is this any different when it comes to business profiles? Win them over through social interaction. Figure out your brand’s voice and make it personable and honest. Be inclusive and open, whether this means posting a “selfie” at an event, or reaching out to possible clients in the area by “liking” their photos or commenting on posts.

2. Evaluate perspective

Ever think about someone close to you and wonder why you’ve never dated? You start going through a mental list of pros and cons and base it off of what you want, and never look at things from their point of view? If you’re a business who is only focused on superficial commerce, the likely result is a friends-with-benefits deal. Maybe you’re into that. But chances are your customers want a real relationship. They want someone they can trust with their finances and values. Knowing what your target audience wants will lead to reliable, long-term investment. Social media acts as a great resource in finding out just what it is that your consumers want.

Host a Twitter chat answering questions, or craft regular Twitter polls to accrue valuable and instant feedback. Many media outlets allow for businesses to build a customer service program with listed hours of availability dedicated to speaking directly to people. Consumers want to be a part of the brands they value; they want to be able to shape them. It’s not just about what you want.

3. Don’t play the sex card

This isn’t just about the appeal anymore. Consumers want transparency; they want to know the inside you. They care more about the intentions of the brand than your Instagram aesthetic and wordy, fluffed up mission statement. Take this time to post behind the scenes moments of a typical work day, or post a picture of your view from the office window. You can be creative in the ways you execute your purpose and promote your products, but there’s no need to pass yourself off as something you’re not. Build your brand organically without attempting to imitate others.

4. The “C” word

Commitment. The only word that might be scarier than that “love” one that saturates all of our timelines and feeds around Valentine’s Day. So how can you reinforce the commitment between you and your consumers? It takes time to cultivate strong relationships. If they’re not ready to take the plunge after your first interaction can you really blame them? There’s no need to trick them into purchasing packages they don’t actually want, or to give false information that will lock your consumers into an unchanging contract. Sit down with your potential clients, ask them what they want out of your relationship, and provide flexibility so that your relationship can grow and evolve as the company does.

5. Be persistent

Your client may need time to process this information; no pressure, and no demands for an answer from your end. There’s a difference between persistence and pressure. Use Facebook Connections to target those who might be on the fence about an upcoming event. Send a brief, light reminder encouraging them to attend. Use Instagram Insights to learn about your followers so you can tailor your content and post at the best times. Use software such as Hootsuite to manage Twitter and Instagram profiles. With this, you can post based on analytics so that your followers have a better chance of seeing your content more frequently. You can also rotate ads every three to five days for fresh, but effective marketing. This allows for persistence on a more subtle level, without direct pressure.

They have the information needed. You’ve given your pitch. Continue fostering that relationship by keeping up the friendly social media connectivity and being genuine in your posts. If a consumer sees the true face behind a company, they will be more comfortable getting to know you better. And you will increase the possibility of a relationship.

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