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Social media marketing more than just ROI

So, we all know that marketing on social media is important - but what sometimes get lost in the shuffle of trying to gain friends and Likes are the actual relationships we form with said friends.

Mashable Business explains that in order to be successful with national or local internet marketing in the social arena, you need to look beyond return on investment, and focus instead on building relationships.

For instance, authenticity is a necessity with today's savvy consumer, who can sense when it's being faked.

"True authenticity - not just using that word often in your tweets and posts - will set your brand (product or personal) apart in today's highly competitive market," notes the news source. "Followers and advocates can and will sniff out a fake in a heartbeat."

One way to become truly authentic is to embrace both positive and negative feedback. Filtering out angered responses on a Facebook page or deleting one-star reviews on Yelp can make consumers suspicious of your product - like there's something wrong with it that you're not telling them.

Instead, make all feedback public and honestly address any claims. This will immediately increase trust in your business. BizReport adds that responses to negative feedback should be given immediately to eliminate the assumption of avoidance. Furthermore, be concise - state just the facts and avoid letting your emotions carry your response. A long-winded answer is unlikely to be read fully by other users and comes off as sensitive or overbearing.

Also, monitor the thread after your response to determine if any follow-up is necessary - if no satisfied outcome is reached the first time, keep providing answers until the issue is settled.

Beyond authenticity, you need to take care of your brand advocates, explains Mashable. These are the people who are so delighted by your product or service that they feel the need to spread the word to others in their circle of friends. You should cater to these individuals - offer discounts, sneak peeks at new products, free items, etc. Word of mouth is one of the most effective - and free - forms of marketing, so don't miss out on a chance to take advantage of it and maintain it.

"Advocates are an incredible asset now more than ever," notes the news source. "Treat them as such."

Content Writer: Martin Poston Martin Poston Digital Marketing Strategist

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