What’s the point of social media?

My last post about businessmums prompted a comment which went along the lines of “If you’re haring around all day long, don’t you run the risk of your clients thinking you’re too busy to ensure they’re receiving the best standard of work from you?”

And of course that is a real risk to which I can only reply – through consistent professionalism, flexibility and most importantly – results, my clients come to know and trust me with the marketing of their organisation, regardless of whatever else is going on in my little world. I give them a face, a personality and a voice on which to pin that trust. Along with strong references and tangible results, these provide a strong basis for an ongoing, constructive relationship.

The point I want to try and reinforce today is that increasingly, many clients look for suppliers based on their relationship with them, not how many offices they have, how long they’ve been in business and so on. This means that marketers and business owners need to focus heavily not just on writing standard “All about us” text for websites (and I could argue against that too), but getting out into the social media world and forging beneficial relationships with potential and actual customers.

A good example of this is given by Christine Peel at Ovenu valeting service. Christine lives at the other end of our vast county of Northumberland but I hadn’t heard of her until we started communicating on Twitter. Over the course of several months we, along with our fellow Twitterers, discussed business, economics, cats and the health benefits of chocolate on a daily basis. Such was the relationship we built up that when I decided my shambles of an oven needed cleaning, I went straight to Christine, without passing Go….ogle.

When she arrived, she was no stranger despite the fact we’d never actually met. She knew I trusted her to do a great job – and she didn’t let me down. After my oven was sparkling, we chatted over coffee & biscuits and she informed me that Twitter had been a vital source of customers for her organisation. Located in a rural area of Northumberland, it would otherwise have been difficult for her to physically network, difficult for her to target and definitely much more expensive to execute marketing activity.

Christine has understood, embraced and utilised the power of social media to build up what is now a thriving business. I’m fully aware that she has a hectic life but through our online relationship, I also knew that she’d do a damned good job.

For more information about Christine and Ovenu, visit her website at http://www.ovenunorthumberlandcentral.net/ or follow her on Twitter @OvenuOvenValet

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