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Social Media Relationships Influence Buying Behavior

In Doug Haslam’s response to my request for a predication for engagement marketing in 2010, Doug said that engagement marketing is at the tip of a tall pyramid, under which lie content marketing and inbound marketing.

The reason for engagement's prominent place at the pinnacle, Doug states, is the effort involved in forming a relationship, and that to "engage effectively, one must pick spots-- perhaps that is qualified leads only, customers of a certain level, people who have self-selected themselves to engage with the company."

I was thinking that yes it does take considerable effort to build a relationship, however, once a relationship is formed, a relationship can be more rewarding that a casual acquaintance.

If word of mouth and personal referral are at the height of what a company can hope to achieve, numerous studies indicate that personal connections are factors in influencing buying behavior. Although the cost in time may be high to build a relationship, the reward potential is much greater.

Doug points to the value of a relationship, and gives us some tactics, he suggests that you pick and choose your relationships, one because relationships take time, and two, effective engagement has to be reciprocal, there's value given on both sides of the relationship.

Studies and blog posts concerning the rewards from good word of mouth.

Online Reviews Second Only to Word-of-Mouth in Purchase Influence

The influence of word of mouth

BazaarVoice WOM statistics

Whose Word-of-Mouth Matters?

Coworker Word-of-Mouth Strongly Influences Purchases

Does a blog influence buying behavior?

Blog Content Influences Consumer Buying Behavior