For many 2012 was a tough year. Budgets, timescales and opportunities were tight. For others it was their best year ever! Several of the organisations I work with have reported their best ever sales figures, growth and profits. Others that I work for have not been so fortunate, and sadly, a couple of companies are no longer with us.

Looking at all the clients I have worked with over 2012 – is there a pattern? Well yes, I think there is.

Those that have grown and done well really value their customers and work as hard at their business relationships as they do on their personal relationships. And I am serious about using the term “work” here – they really do put the effort in to ensuring that they understand their customer’s needs, problems and requirements and then set about building an appropriate solution.  That’s not always a quick and easy thing to do. It takes time, effort and great questioning & listening skills. In business, as well as your personal life, building great relationships is a long term activity.

This approach is rarely shown in social media spaces. Still there are “brands” who are “transmitting” most of the time and they haven’t realised that no one is listening or cares. Few are actually using these social spaces as a complimentary communication channel (alongside the phone, email and – oh yes – actually meeting people) to develop strong relationships.

If you’ve played and dabbled with social media – and it hasn’t worked out for you – chances are your business didn’t do too well last year. At least, that’s what I’ve observed with several of my clients. I think it might be down to the attitude and approach to real life situations just as much as on-line social situations? If social media isn’t working for you, chances are commnication inside and outside the business isn’t great either?

Time to look in the mirror. 

 

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