smclouds6Why on Earth would anyone spend hours looking at what other people had for breakfast, what their kids did to drive them nuts, or look at pictures of their 75-year-old uncle’s new Corvette?

Who cares? Well if you don’t, you should. Here’s the thing, it’s all about relationships.

Let me give you an example.

You just moved to a new area. Your car breaks down. What do you do? You need to find a reputable mechanic to fix it for you without draining your bank account. You could take it to the dealer. No. Unless it’s a brand new car, you will probably ask someone, maybe more than one person. In the end, you will take your car to the place that was recommended to you with the most enthusiasm based on personal experience.

See, there’s that “personal” thing again.

Face it. It’s the way we make decisions – buying decisions.

While it may seem painful to drudge through details that seem more plentiful than sand in the Sahara, doing some targeted social media engagement could be the best thing that has ever happened to your bottom line. The key is in strategy. You need to have a specific goal in mind. Here are 5 solid goals that can be achieved with the help of social media:

Get more clients

You can use the information you read online to identify potential buyers for what you are selling. If you sell insurance, wouldn’t it pay for you to follow the Facebook pages and website blogs of top producing real estate agents in your territory?

That’s capturing new business through social media.

Keep the clients you’ve got

Your client’s son just graduated from college. A short congratulatory note on his Facebook page would keep him feeling good about you and, it would give you exposure with all of his other Facebook friends.

That’s growing your network through social media.

Win back clients you’ve lost

Okay, last year you bid on a job and didn’t win. You know your service is better but a newbie undercut your price and won. You Google the owner and discover that he is also a dragster enthusiast. There you go. Next time he’ll be more likely to choose his dragster buddy over a couple of bucks.

That’s finding an ‘in’ through social media

Become known as a thought leader in your industry

You are a financial planner, one of a hundred in your zip code it seems. How can you become the ‘go-to guy’? Start a blog that is focused on a demographic or topical niche that you love to talk about. Write a couple of posts a week distribute a lead in with a link on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and watch your website traffic grow.

That’s building your brand through social media

Create interest in your product or service

Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats the value of a good story. Use a heartfelt situation about how your product or service helped someone out of a jam. Remember the elements of a good story: background, problem introduction and development, climax, and resolution. Use your blog, Facebook page, Twitter account and even LinkedIn to chat about your story. This will help people imagine how you can help them solve a similar problem with your offering.

That’s connecting with your target market through social media.

Now you can see that social media is a valuable tool that can help you reach out to your public. You can touch their hearts, stimulate their minds, and create curiosity with your comments and questions. Give it a try. You won’t regret it.