Why are friends important?

We all know that friends have your back.  Friends are loyal, trustworthy and will always be there for you.  Friends are important for socializing and great for interacting with.  This is why friends are important.  But if I’m a business or an organization and I have a number of different social media profiles, why are friends important?  For all of the same reasons I just mentioned.

The common misconception with social media profiles for businesses is that more friends will instantly equal more sales.  This isn’t always the case, nor should it be.  Social media sites offer the rare opportunity to connect with your current and potential customers on a more personal level.  By engaging your customer in a medium that is familiar, you are allowing them to interact with you on their own grounds.  If they don’t want to hear your message, they don’t have to listen.  But if you have something to say of value and offer a positive contribution to your community, you are creating a relationship with people that is more personal and worthwhile than advertising the same message on a billboard off of an interstate.

If you build up a strong enough following, you will in turn build up your brand loyalty and increase the chances of turning a friend into a buyer.  Now I know you’re thinking that it’s awful underhanded of me to think that the overall goal of any business page is to convert friends to buyers but honestly, it is.  Why would any company go through the effort of hiring a full-on social media expert to maintain social media profiles if they weren’t expecting some kind of return?

However, the number one rule should always be that the community comes first.  Why do you think (even after the recall) Toyota has managed to maintain, at the time of this post, over 91,000 fans on Facebook?  Because instead of using it as an avenue to peddle products post-recall, they engaged with their customers to hear and respond to complaints and keep loyal fans loyal.  They continued to feature their “Fan of the Week” to show that Toyota fans are still out there and offered the latest news on the recall (positive or negative).  That’s how you become a part of the community.  Be trustworthy.

Friends are important for many reasons, but if you truly interact with the online world and become a part of your social community, you’ll have followers that will act and feel like real friends.  Those are the people you want coming in to your store and those are the people that are going to buy your products.  And plus, who doesn’t like having friends?

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