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

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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Read more about customer relationships:

Think Like a Customer


Brogan & Partners Named Agency of Record for Henry Ford Health System

Henry Ford Health System Hires Brogan & Partners as Agency of Record

Woman-owned and managed Brogan & Partners is the new agency of record for Henry Ford Health System. Ellyn Davidson, managing partner for the agency, made the announcement.

Henry Ford was Brogan & Partners’ first client more than 30 years ago when Marcie Brogan launched her business in Detroit.

“We are truly thrilled to be working for the iconic Henry Ford Health System brand and its award-winning marketing team,” Davidson said. “We’ve amassed a significant amount of healthcare experience since we last partnered. We look forward to applying it generously to the Henry Ford brand to further consumer awareness and preference.”

Brogan will extend and strengthen Henry Ford’s recently launched “All for You” campaign, emphasizing the System’s commitment to individualized healthcare. The agency has already begun work on planning and initial projects.

Brogan was selected after a national search. Henry Ford is particularly pleased to be working with a local agency with meaningful healthcare experience and a proven track record, said Liz Schnell, Henry Ford vice president of brand strategy.

“We have invested months of research and strategic work defining our brand for today’s healthcare consumer,” Schnell said. “We needed an agency to elevate and execute our brand strategy with the same level of rigor and excellence. We’re confident we’ve found that partner in Brogan.”

About Brogan & Partners
Brogan & Partners helps clients more effectively connect with target audiences, amplify their brand and grow business. Since 1984, our work has attracted brands large, medium and small in healthcare, governmental, financial services, utility, nonprofit and retail industries. We consistently deliver results—increasing consumer awareness, engagement and revenue. The agency is headquartered in Birmingham, Mich. and has an office in Morrisville, NC. For more information, visit

About Henry Ford Health System

Henry Ford Health System is a six-hospital system headquartered in Detroit, Mich. It is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive, integrated health systems, recognized for clinical excellence and innovation. Henry Ford Health System provides both health insurance and health care delivery, including acute, specialty, primary and preventive care services backed by excellence in research and education. The system is a 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. Visit to learn more.

Walsh College Offers Webinar on New Master of Science in Marketing: Qualitative, quantitative courses from creativity and innovation to analytics

Walsh College will present a free, information-packed webinar for future students interested in enrollment in its new Master of Science in Marketing (MSMKT) degree program from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, August 6, 2014. Participant registration is required for the session at

Designed for busy working professionals interested in pursuing an advanced degree, the webinar will cover course and program content; on-campus and online content delivery; application, admission, and enrollment requirements; and career services. It will conclude with a question-and-answer period. Walsh’s $35 application fee will be waived for all webinar participants.

The Walsh College MSMKT degree, unique in the Detroit area, is designed to provide the in-depth knowledge and practical skills in marketing necessary to design, manage, implement, and evaluate strategies.

It provides a deeper immersion into the study of marketing than is possible in a typical MBA program. The MSMKT program includes both qualitative and quantitative marketing courses ranging from creativity and innovation to analytics. For example, students will be exposed to data modeling applications, qualitative and quantitative research methods, custom data analytics tools, and the industry-leading research technologies used in making strategic marketing decisions.

The MSMKT program is also available as part of a dual-degree option with an MBA. The dual MBA/MSMKT allows students to complete two distinct graduate degrees in one concise program, providing an additional academic credential.

“The MSMKT is an innovative program for individuals who want to enhance their career opportunities by obtaining a generalist postgraduate marketing degree with emphasis on data-driven brand management,” said Philip Fioravante, Ph.D., associate professor, Marketing, and featured webinar presenter. “It is intended to provide a deeper immersion into the study of marketing than is possible in a typical MBA program.” Dr. Fioravante has served in a variety of professional senior leadership roles for more than 30 years.
Fall priority registration for new students begins Monday, August 11 and runs through Tuesday, September 30. Students enrolling in the fall will be part of the inaugural launch of the program.
For more information on Walsh College and all programs, visit

Founded in 1922, Walsh College is a private, not for profit institution offering upper-division undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs. One of Southeast Michigan’s largest business schools, Walsh has locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township, and Port Huron, as well as online.

Walsh’s business services division offers the Walsh Institute, which provides solutions for businesses through training, continuing education, and consulting.

Walsh is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (; phone: 312-263-0456). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP, accredits specific degree programs.



The Quell Group Promotes Peterhans to Art Director

TROY, Mich., Feb. 27, 2013 — The Quell Group promoted Grace Peterhans to the position of art director, according to Mike Niederquell, president and CEO.

“In this new role, Grace will lead design concepts and manage the artistic style of each creative product,” said Niederquell. “Her keen design skills will help to determine how products communicate visually as we develop cutting-edge branding, marketing and advertising solutions for our clients.”

Before joining Quell, Peterhans served as senior graphic designer at a local marketing firm, where she developed website designs, print and e-marketing collateral, advertising campaigns and corporate identities. She also worked as a senior designer serving clients in a variety of industries, including law and health care, and as junior art director at Pulte Homes, where she supported the company’s 57 national sales offices through the design of brochures, web banners, advertisements, and newsletter and direct mail templates.

Peterhans holds a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Michigan and resides in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

As Michigan’s leading integrated brand communications firm, The Quell Group integrates strategic branding and positioning counsel with marketing and public relations services. Founded in 1994, the firm provides proprietary diagnostic tools to help companies unknot, align and market® their value proposition. Quell also provides its clients with interactive web and online services. Visit for more information.

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The Quell Group Promotes Max Muncey to Senior Account Executive

TROY, Mich., Feb. 19 — The Quell Group promoted Max Muncey to the position of senior account executive, according to Mike Niederquell, president and CEO. Muncey joined The Quell Group in April 2011 as account executive.

“Max is a true car buff and takes great pride in understanding all there is to know about the industry,” said Niederquell. “Our clients have truly benefited from his extensive industry knowledge and his relationships with key automotive media and organizations. As a member of Quell’s Automotive Practice Group, Max will continue to help us grow our agency’s automotive sector and provide quality marketing and public relations expertise. ”

He previously served as an associate at a Detroit public relations firm, where he provided public relations strategy, media relations management, event planning support and account management for several of the firm’s automotive clients.

Muncey earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Western Michigan University and is a member of the Automotive Press Association, Automotive Public Relations Council and the Washington Automotive Press Association. He currently resides in Rochester Hills, Mich.

As Michigan’s leading integrated brand communications firm, The Quell Group integrates strategic branding and positioning counsel with marketing and public relations services. Founded in 1994, the firm provides proprietary diagnostic tools to help companies unknot, align and market® their value proposition.

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