How To Reach Beyond Social Media To Offer A Personal Touch

Are your relationships with your customers a little too digital? Oddly enough, in the rush to conquer social media, some small businesses neglect the personal touch of relationship building – the kind that starts with a square look in the eye and ends with a sale and a handshake.

If you feel your business is skewed too heavily toward social media, perhaps it’s time for a refresher on the personal graces. The following tips can help:

1. Take The Dialogue Offline

While social media is great for creating a dialogue with your customers, it pays to talk face to face on occasion. One of the easiest way to do this is to hold an event, such as a charity tie in, tent sale or sponsorship. These customer magnets are an effective way of putting you and your employees in touch with the market on a deeper level. For tips on event planning, click here.

2. Get Your Face – And Business – Out Front

Contact your local media and pitch them on the idea of being a go-to resource. For instance, if you run a wedding planning service, you might propose a segment that gives pointers on choosing vendors, like photographers and caterers. The more opportunities you get, the more you’ll be identified as the face of your company. And consumers like buying from businesses they can identify with.

3. Mail It In

In an age where email and online marketing continue to grow, try a refreshing throwback tactic, like direct mail. Letters, post cards and dimensional mailers are just some of the options that are available to businesses, and all have the potential to stand out in a mailbox. Just remember that an effective direct mail piece should follow the AIDA formula: Attract attention, generate Interest, create Desire and facilitate Action. For more insights into effective direct mail, click here.

4. Create Customer Insight Groups

Invite customers to weigh in on new products or services you’re planning to offer. Choose them randomly through email and devote one night a month to these informal focus groups. Give them the opportunity to share their opinions and really get to know you and your employees. Hold your events at your business where customers can “see behind the scenes.” Or, if you prefer, make the events more social by holding them at a local hotel or conference center.

5. Network The Old-School Way

While business mixers and organizations like Rotary and Kiwanis aren’t new, in many communities they represent one of the easiest ways to get in front of like-minded entrepreneurs. Does your city have a Business Development Office or industry-related organization? A quick web search will likely reveal where you can get in touch and begin to make personal contacts.

6. Use Social Media To Facilitate

While it may seem counterintuitive to recommend social media to add a personal touch, it can be done. In fact, most of the tips mentioned above can be facilitated using social media. Events can be planned, groups can be formed and even queries for networking opportunities can be made. As long as there’s a pay-off with a personal touch, your business can thrive beyond the boundaries of posts, pins and tweets.

If your business is ready to go beyond social media to put a personal spin on customer relationships, these six pointers can help get you started.

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