You’ve elephants flowersheard people say that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know that gets your foot in the door. Well, that’s also true for marketing.

One of the most effective forms of marketing is relationship marketing. This type of marketing involves branding and positioning by building relationships with your audience to the point that they cannot see any other person to buy the product or service from. Hopefully!

Building relationships online involve getting active on social media, getting involved in the discussions on blog posts, and truly opening your ears and listening to your audience for keys to what they want. Once your audience feels heard, you’ve built a long-lasting relationship with them that will be hard to break.

Here are some of the best relationship building strategies that are proven to work:

Keeping in Touch with Customers
You have an email list of customers – it’s important to use it. Don’t just ask them to sign up and then ignore them. Keep in touch with your customers by sending them periodic updates about what you’re doing, sales, and just interesting facts. What’s more, if you don’t use your email list they might forget they even signed up and accuse you of spamming them when you finally do send something. Don’t make that mistake; keep in touch from day one.

Conduct Surveys with Audience
Periodically, use your email list (and even social media) to conduct a survey about your audience’s attitudes or other factors that might need exploring. You can even ask them via a survey to help you name a new product or service, or pick a new product or service they’d like you to offer. Keeping them involved will keep your relationship strong. Customers love to be asked what they think about things. Take advantage of that fact.

Ask for Customer Feedback
After every sale, or failed sale, ask for feedback from the customer. You need to know why they did what they did, chose what they chose, or acted in the way that they did. The more you know about the why of your customers’ actions, the better you can get in offering them what they need, want and desire. More importantly, you’ll get insight on what causes them to act. You’ll also be able to use the feedback to improve your products and services.

Understand the Power of Social Media
Social media is a very powerful tool that can be used to expand awareness of your brand, engage with your customers, and even teach people something new. Social media can be used to make anything go viral, good or bad. Keeping aware of what you are posting, and why you’re posting it will be a good habit to get into since you never know when something will take off. Don’t underestimate the power for both good and bad results when it comes to social media.

Social media is essentially a method by which it’s easy to start a conversation with your audience. What’s more, you can drive the conversation in the direction you want it to go. You can also use social media as a powerful listening tool that can help you build better relationships and get more traffic to your website.