At the start of any business, you have to develop relationships and connections for future customers. Naturally, a business will venture out to cast a huge net on social media and the internet to get the word out. But with any venture, its important to remember that those you interact with online are actual human beings. You have to approach even your online relationships with care and consideration. If human interaction is not your priority, it could affect the success of your business.

So how do you develop media relationships correctly?

Study your audience.

Before going on a date, you are more than likely going to Google the individual and learn all you can about them. You do this for a few reasons. You want to make sure you’re not dating a serial killer. You also want to make sure you’re compatible with the individual before wasting your time. And ultimately, you want to make sure that you have commonality so that you can engage in conversation throughout your date.

In the same way, you want to research potential customers you intend to do business with. Learn as much about them as you can. You do this for a few reasons. You want to make sure that you’re pitching to the right individuals that will actually benefit from your services. Is what your business has to offer compatible with their needs? Discover commonalities your business has with this audience. This is so that when you do engage online, you know just the right things to say to attract the right people.

Know who’s on your list.

In any relationship, listening is key to successful communication. The person you’re engaging in relationship with will appreciate you more when they know you remember things they have discussed with you.

In business, when you collect information of your potential customers, it’s important to maintain accurate data. Create a spreadsheet with email names, contact information, etc. Most often this is maintained using email marketing tools that grab email addresses online. Some marketing tools also have funnels or sequences that will keep track of previous communication you’ve already had with your customers and what communication you should engage with next with minimal effort from your part. This is especially useful when your business grows.

Always keep in mind that your communication should be in moderation. If you constantly communicate, it may be misinterpreted as spam. Such behavior can result in repelling and losing your customers.

Avoid click bate

We’ve all heard the phrase, time is money. It’s truth rings loudly in all aspects of life. As a business person, you don’t want to waste your time on avenues that won’t generate money for you. In the same way, you don’t want to waste your customers’ time. It could potentially lead to a bad reputation for your business. So be sure not to offer click bate online. While it will temporarily grow your lists, today’s consumer is smarter and more informed than ever before. Eventually, they will see your “tactic” and write you off as a waste of time.