When it comes to relationship marketing and building solid business relationships with your audience, a certain amount of interaction is vitally important. But is there such a thing as too much interaction?
Think of it like dating. When you first met your potential new partner, you’re cautious about how often you’re reaching out, calling or texting them, trying to set up dates. Why? You don’t want to come on too strong and risk alienating them. At the same time, you don’t want to reach out too infrequently and have them think you aren’t truly interested.
Which is when you need to find ‘the sweet spot’. The right amount of engagement to stay relevant without being overwhelming.
Let’s compare three different scenarios and audiences.
Almost everyone has a long-lost cousin or acquaintance who you only hear from once a year during reunions. We typically find ourselves trying to remember who they are as they blast us with updates on their lives.
Where do I know you from?
How are we related again?
You find yourself barely able to feign interest in what they’ve shared and chances are you’ve forgotten about the interaction before they even leave the room.
Then you have your college roommate, who lives out of state but you only hear from them when there’s drama in their life or they need something. A favour, a loan, someone to listen while they complain about their life…
These are the people who are in touch more frequently, but only when they need something – not because they have an interest in what is happening in your life. You dread these calls and find yourself tempted to ignore them.
All your interactions leave you feeling drained and you’ve been tempted to block them more than once.
And then you have the parent who dropped off their child at an out-of-state college for the first time, who texts and calls every day, just to check on how things are going.
Did you get to class on time? Are you getting enough sleep? Do you like your roommates? What do you mean you need to borrow $500? Do you want us to come visit for Parents’ Weekend?
While you appreciate the check-ins, it’s hard to keep and sometimes their messages go unread because you’re simply overwhelmed.
How This Translates to Your Business
Each of these real-life scenarios can translate to a business situation and are examples of what you want to avoid.
Small business owners or solopreneurs who don’t create and/or use their email lists to communicate with their past customers more than once a year won’t create name recognition among their customers. They run the risk of getting their emails deleted or marked as spam. One possible exception: seasonal businesses (warm fall-scented candles immediately came to mind).
Business owners who only use their social media accounts or email accounts to promote their products and sales are only interested in making money from their audience. They don’t necessarily care about what their followers need at that moment in time. And trust me, the customers know.
Internet marketers and big box stores or companies who email every single day run the risk of annoying their audience and causing people to unsubscribe from their lists. Or send them to the dreaded spam folder.
The bottom line is that you need to understand your market so you’ll know how often you should interact with them. This is key to building a solid relationship. There are always exceptions to every rule, and even within the same industries, different businesses will experience different responses to their communications tactics. Research your market, understand their pain points and create a solution for them.
Think about some of your favourite companies or businesses, the ones whose emails and posts you’re quick to read. What makes you so excited to interact with them? Make a list of these reasons and try to incorporate them into your own strategy!
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