Build Your Social Media Communities From The Inside Out
Focusing on the Importance of e-Relationships

:: toast to your e-relationships like you would with good friends ::

Any positive and worthwhile relationship takes time to build and this should be the same mantra and style that you embrace as you embark on your social media journey. Don't get caught up on the number of followers, the number of tweets, the number of tiny URLs, you get where I am going with this. Instead, focus on who you are, what you want to say and to whom you want to talk to. I recently read an article about the Relationship Era, a new period of time consumers have entered where "brands that win are expanding their focus to also include non-financial goals -- the kind of things that shareholders might have considered a distraction previously. These brands are realizing that it is possible to do something that is intensely meaningful..." I couldn't agree more! Beyond making a profit, brands - like yours - have an opportunity to connect and grow meaningful relationships directly. Here are a few things to consider as you build your relationship foundation.

:: Like any friend, your Twitter and blog followers are interested in *you* and what you have to share. By focusing on this simple idea, you can create smart and interesting conversations that are relevant to you and your e-friends. Forget forming your message for a potential Influencer that has 80,000 followers and who, ironically, is following 80,000 people and most likely has no idea who you are. Instead, embrace your 200 real followers that are listening and spreading your word.

:: I really believe that you need to build your relationships from the inside out. Set your tone and content with what you personally believe in and love. Tailor it to your own customers, trust me, they'll tell their friends and the viral swing begins.

:: Like any good relationship, keep it real and keep it open. Ask your readers their opinion, what they like, what they want, etc. From there you can tailor and shape your content and messages to them while showing that you are listening.

:: Hand over the reigns to a guest blogger to do a post or two on your blog. Invite new friends to post a relevant topic. This shows trust and also an opportunity for some cross-promotion and a new group of e-friends.

By sticking with your core audience you are building a real foundation to your social media community where people feel free to engage, interact and enjoy your content. These invaluable people will be there for you when you need them to spread your brand message. They don't care about the #'s, they care about what you have to say. Remember if you want to chat with your customers, go to where the conversation is - right in your own social community. Read the entire article about the 5 Principles of Breakthrough Success in the Relationship Era right here.



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