Social Media can be a tough world to be heard on, but when you have a built a following, it is essential to build a rapport with the people who have chosen to add you to their newsfeed. But how can this be done?

Well, we first suggest that you ensure you regularly engage with them – simple really. Have a conversation, share their updates and get involved when they mention you. Another way to do this is by answering any questions that you feel you can help with – especially when it’s to do with your industry or product.

One of the parts of social media that is so important is the social side. The best way to build a great relationship with potential customers, brand ambassadors and referral partners, is by building those relationships. You can add people to your social networks after meeting them in person, or even after they have made an order through your website or in store. This can be a fantastic way to build a closer connection to them, and perhaps even create a repeat customer from them.

You could even take this further, by actively recommending the people in your close network, or tribe, to others who would require their service/product. Now that would make a happy follower out of them, and they would then want to repay you. Perhaps even boosting their love of you even more by sharing their website, blog and social networks actively. I suggest you have a sort of funnel, for what you offer to these people in your network. It would have a small selection of your closest connections, who you would want to highly recommend (and possibly have your target audience in their network) and would receive the most time and effort from you, down to a smaller number of people with whom you have great relationships, communicate with regularly and share their updates with your following.

Social media truly takes time – it is not a free marketing tool, but when used well, it can work beautifully for a business, especially a retail business that has customers who are happy to tweet, facebook, pin and instagram your products and share them with their connections – all thanks to your initial boost of rapport building through these networks, making them feel special and cared for by your brand.

How do you ensure your customers and connections feel that warm feeling from your brand?

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