Before the internet, email marketing, and social media, brands, and companies had the ability to build personal relationships with customers and stakeholders offline and in person. Yet today, brands and companies must use social media platforms, video, email, and live chat sessions to build relationships and engage with customers and stakeholders, which isn’t always easy.
However, I put together are seven simple ways to build strong relationships in today’s highly-digital age.
1). Surveys - Christina Crawford, CEO of e-commerce beauty brand BubblePopBeauty.com says she likes to survey her customers to find out what they want instead of trying to guess what they want. Not only is this a cost-effective way to find out what your customers want, it’s also a way to show that you’re listening to them. She conducts her surveys through email and SurveyMonkey.com.
2). Pinterest - Boston-based psychotherapist, Angela Ficken of ProgressWellness.com uses Pinterest as a way to build relationships with her audience. When she publishes a new blog post or newsletter, she pins it to all of the relevant pin boards on her profile, which links back to her newsletter opt-in on her website. This enables her to have a two-way dialogue with her readers.
3). Proximity, Kindness, and Time - Former Hollywood actress-turned-entrepreneur, Michelle Lewis of VisibilityVixen.com says that "Proximity part is easy because we’re online entrepreneurs, so we can pretty much get in touch with whoever we’d like to easily.
Kindness is all about authentic compliments mixed with personal experience. Whether it’s a specific social media post, course or class, if it meant something to you, let that person know.
And, if you want something from someone (like to get them on your podcast or to collaborate on a project), it’s time to dig into what they will receive in return. Make it a better deal for them than for you.
When their benefit is your focus, you will continue to build lasting relationships online that lead to partnerships, collaborations and most importantly, friendships.”
4). Customer Service - “Be responsive to all inquiries whether it’s through email, social media, or live chat,” says Mike Coughlin owner of the lifestyle apparel website, Blue Ocean Life. “As an e-commerce website, customer service is paramount so I strive to respond to all inquiries within 48 hours.”
5). Privacy Policies - With today’s privacy and spam laws, we have a responsibility to protect our readers’ and customers’ privacy. At FemFounder.co we’re transparent on how we intend to use all of our readers’ personal information. We also provide a contact for questions or inquiries.
6). Early Access Promotions and Events - Tayelor Kennedy, celebrity makeup artist and the Editor-in-chief of the women’s online magazine TheHauteRebel.com, builds relationships with her “readers and customers by offering access to VIP events and sales via email. They appreciate it when we provide early access to exclusive promotions before we offer it publicly. We also send our best customers little gifts on their birthdays. A little goes a long way.”
7). Blogging - Cindy Georghiou, owner of Los Angeles-based skincare brand JaquaBathandBody.com likes to use her blog to build relationships and stay in touch with customers. She strives to publish educational and promotional blog posts twice a month. Not only does blogging help with search engine optimization, it also helps her collect emails and build her list.