Does Social Media Help Strengthen Client Relationships?
by Kevin Nichols | @kevinanichols
The answer depends upon whom you are asking.
In our latest social media research project, we divided our participants into Early Adopters and Casual Users. Early Adopters are advisors who use social media daily to acquire new business, research clients and prospects, and integrate social media into their overall marketing strategy. Casual Users – are just what their name implies.
If you are asking the small cadre of Early Adopters if social media helps strengthen their client relationships, the answer is an overwhelming “Yes”- 80% agreed. 16% were unsure and only 4% did not feel social media helped build client relationships.
It appears that Early Adopters are using social media as an integral component of their overall client communication strategy. They utilize social media to help create additional touch-points, deliver targeted content, and stay in front of their clients between face-to-face meetings and phone conversations. Our research also identified that Early Adopters talk to clients about social media. These advisors let their clients know why they are getting involved with social media and the value it provides for them as a client. Outbound communication aside, Early Adopters also use social media profiles to gather additional information on their clients, which in turn helps them manage these client relationships on a more personal level.
With relationship management and relationship marketing so inextricably linked, Casual Users should not only use social media to gather more information on clients, they should use it to add more value to the relationship. Managing these relationships more effectively on social networking sites is the first step to maximizing the marketing potential on these mediums.