As an Internet marketer who employs social media as a means to further the cause of your business, you should know that you have a slew of roles to play. After choosing a niche and doing your research, it’s not enough that you just get yourself an online presence. You have a brand’s image to help build and it pays to represent your business properly if you want to start building legitimate relationships within your chosen market.
Social media has done so much for so many businesses these days that it’ll be an understatement to say that it’s an indispensible asset. It has literally destroyed that wall of bureaucracy that blocks conventional corporations from their customers. Through social media, you’re able to talk as a brand, receive feedback and share what you know. Like in any other social engagement, you have a variety of roles to play in order to contribute to a community’s wellness. In this case, your community is the industry you’re involved in.
Being able to manage yourself appropriately in the different roles you play can make a big difference in the way people view you and your brand. I’ve listed a few roles that are worth keeping in mind:
- As a friend – Firstly, whether it’s via Facebook, Twitter or a blog, you need to understand that most of your prospects are people who have the same interest in what your business is about. This makes you acquaintances but don’t let that stop you from befriending them.
Remember, giving them what they need and solving their problems from the get go without expecting compensation is going to mark you as a “friend” in the consciousness of your audience. You can do this through usefuls or any other helpful free resource that people use and say “Gee whiz, I’m glad I found this tool. Thanks!”
- As a teacher – Of course, once you’ve established that you’re able to provide the information they need, they’ll look to you as a figure of authority. Kind of like the go-to-guy for all things Internet marketing or Blogging. From here, you can’t afford to pitch offers just yet. Remember that pitching in too early could be a huge turn off for prospects. So continue being a real teacher by giving them helpful pieces of knowledge.
If you want to make money though, try an affiliate marketing strategy out and recommend products and services in the form of reviews. These should be honest reviews filled with helpful information that’s aimed at your prospect’s learning – not mainly to sell.
- As a marketer – The time will come when you need to pitch in your own brand. The time will come when you’ve done all your homework on your industry and let the world know that you can do something for them but for a price. When you’re already selling your product, do NOT disregard the other roles you’re playing. It could drive people away from you and you might not hear from them again. So as much as possible, keep giving value to them while you sell your product.
These roles are pretty much the most important roles you play when you engage with your prospects. There may be other minor roles (primarily those that depends on the nature of your industry and how you run your business), but I’ll leave it to you to discover. Let me know what you think in the comments below.