Social media is more than means to advertise. It is more than “having a conversation.” Conversations are means to develop and maintain relationships. Social media is simply a new tool to build those relationships.
Businesses know the relationship between themselves and their customers is an important one.  They also know that relationship won’t grow overnight. Loyalty and trust come after time and consistency.
Think of your friends right now. Who would you call your best friends? How did you come to refer to them as such? Likely, your best friend isn’t someone you met last week or last month. You’ve probably been friends for years. You’ve had time to spend with each other, time to go through a couple rough patches as well as some good ones. Because of this time spent together, your relationship became trustworthy and durable.
Now think of those you call acquaintances. They’re people you may like but for some reason or another have not invested much time into developing a meaningful relationship.  If they ever moved away you might not think too much of it. They have not had much significant presence in your life, so their absence has a minimal effect as well.
Social media creates the opportunity for your business to have a significant presence in someone’s day-to-day life. You are accessible. You are where the people are. It’s more than advertising – a billboard or online ad cannot develop a relationship with your customer. It can only suggest a conversation, not be an active participant in one. And, as with any relationship, whether personal or professional, it must be built on trust proven consistently over time.
Over the past four months, we had the opportunity to foster an online relationship between our client, The Horny Toad Saloon and its customers. Gradually, loyal patrons of our client became loyal patrons of our client’s Facebook page.  In less than four months their Facebook account acquired 153 likes, 184 check-ins and made 33,000 impressions on people’s newsfeeds – 12,000 of those came in the October alone. That’s over a third of the page’s total activity happening in just one month. Patrons posted videos and photos, and some even started their own Facebook group to coordinate what they would sing during karaoke night. (Perhaps think of the likes as their best friends and all those impressions as acquaintances. Through continued engagement through their Facebook page those acquaintances will become best friends too).
Patrons weren’t the only ones taking advantage of the Saloon’s social media presence. Musicians and performers used Facebook and Twitter to promote their acts at the Saloon to their fans. Establishing online relationships with these artists helped us keep our content fresh, as we would have access to any media the artists posted online as well.
The online relationship between the Horny Toad Saloon and its patrons has been established – now it’s time to prove that relationship is positive and reliable, not brief and inconsistent. We are excited about the social growth we’ve seen and believe that, with consistency, as the statistics indicate, traffic will continue to increase.

– Emily Ask, CIPR Account Manager


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