There is a general notion that more and more people prefer social media nowadays to the traditional person to person interaction. The different social media platforms and digital devices available lend credence to this notion.
As popular and beneficial social media platforms are, the importance of high value, face-to-face interactions cannot be overemphasised. Every Online communities occasionally hold face to face meetings to share and learn from each other. The benefits that these interactions offer far outweighs what can be derived via social media.
Even some big brands realise that community engagements engender long-term brand loyalty. Relationships that are formed through social media can become strengthened quite rapidly during face-to-face interactions.
According to analyst, Jon Reed, marketers should think about the buyers’ community or network. Targeting only people in a position to buy today limits future sales. By targeting and engaging a community or network of people without any hard sell, trust is developed which makes a buying decision easier to make when the need arises.
Businesses and marketers who take the time to understand and place themselves on the buyers’ and community’s journey are more likely to connect with them and reap great benefits. This notwithstanding, marketers should not pursue this to the detriment of other important factors such as: value, quality or innovation.
“Sales through service” is not just a slogan, it should become a culture of businesses desirous of long-term relationships with prospects and customers alike.
There is enough room for face to face community engagements as well as social media interactions.
It is expected that companies that previously had a culture of building customer relationships through live events will once again embrace this practice to promote brand loyalty and trust.