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Social Media Tactical Tips: Managing Customer Relationships and Experiences

November 9, 2011

Toronto, November 9th, 2011 – How long does it take to make a sale, and is it faster using social media? Traditionally, this paradigm has been based on identifying prospects, informing them, and selling them. However, social media marketing is based on engagement, conversation and developing the relationship. Only when the relationship is strong enough, when there is trust, will there be a possibility of a sale.

"An organization does not need to have a large social media presence in order to have an engaged brand," says Randall Craig, social media and web strategist, and author of the Online PR & Social Media series, "A social media presence should include listening to your customers discuss the brand, and engaging in the conversation to connect." Defining a more 'fan' centric than 'sales' centric perspective on social media is beneficial. 'Shares' and wall posts can easily translate into third-party endorsements, and free advertising.

So how can an organization turn these 'fans' and 'followers' into customers and brand ambassadors? Randall Craig offers several tactics an organization could use in social media to pull that sale closer to the close:

1. Take your time to get to know the customer. As they are getting to know you, they will identify your capabilities. Contrast this with traditional marketing, where expertise leads, and then relationship follows.

2. Allow the customer to take the lead. It’s more likely that they will initiate the sales process when they are ready – after all, they know their needs better than you ever will.

3. The customer is not a single voice. Engage with the fans and followers. Focus on the customer experience and their engagement with your social media voice. If everything you say is related to your product or generating business, it is unlikely a relationship will develop.

4. Ask for the sale if it feels right. Asking for the sale prematurely may do more harm than good. But exposing your expertise over time within the context of a two-way, non-broadcast relationship, is a far more powerful implicit 'ask'.

Social media activities should make an effort to improve credibility and grow the relationships. Shouting 'buy me' is the quickest way to lose 'friends'. How long does it take to make a sale? It depends how quickly you earn it – trust takes time.


Since 1994, Randall Craig has advised on web and social media strategy. He is the author of six books including the newly published Social Media for Business and the Online PR and Social Media series. You can visit Randall's blog at

For more information contact:

Randall Craig
416.256.7773 x101 /

Carolyn Bergshoeff
416.256.7773 x 103 /

For more information contact:
Randall Craig
Pinetree Advisors Inc.
Phone: 416-256-7773 x101

Click here to view our Sources Listing:

Randall Craig, Social Media and Networking Expert

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