ROR – Return On Relationships!

SOCIAL MEDIA | | October 27, 2010 at 7:42 am

Good things take time. Like wine. People look for shortcuts all the time, because they “claim” they have no time – or as I would put it, won’t make the time. You see people do crazy things like buy followers on twitter, since actually talking to people and making people want to follow them might take too much darn effort. You see people want to talk to, or sit only by, influential people, because they think somehow it will rub off. They think, like a disease, success is contagious. Sometimes they are willing to work ONLY if they know of something guaranteed in return.

Relationships happen with people not products

When I work now, it is for relationships. Products, links, traffic and compensation come and go. In fact they go so fast you wonder why you even bothered. Relationships involve feelings, and though that seems to go against every business lesson previously taught, it must be why mom blogging has been so powerful. I feel, and I react. I am more likely to act on, and support something if I have a (good) relationship with someone than rather with a product. I will listen more.

Exciting things happen through relationships

So listen up all you guys sending me mass emails, you get paid for your time – make it work. If you care about quantity and living in my trash box, keep sending them. But if you want quality, take some time, research and then pitch me. I may not take the bait, but I will respect you (for respecting me) and most likely not forget you. It is why relationships matter. Whether it be with bloggers, or fellow brands. Since I barely get my act together to pitch companies I have been fortunate to experience some pretty exciting projects and every single one was attributed to a relationship I nursed.

When they talk, I listen, because they took the time, to listen

There are several people who don’t get it, and continue to spew out advice and direct one-way communication and wonder why the effect is not the one desired. Do people care? Why should they? There are also many that do get it and if I had to quickly scribble 2 that come to mind it would have to be people like Ted Rubin (Previously ELF Cosmetics and now OpenSky) and Julie Cole (Mabels Labels). Do they hover around blogging conferences in hope of selling their product? If so, they don’t make it obvious (to me). What these guys do is establish and nurture relationships so they can understand the environment. When they talk, I listen, because they took the time, to listen.

You can’t win if you are not in the ring

No question about it, building relationships is time consuming and fraught with uncertainty. It must be why dating is so stressful. Probably the strongest trait in social media is the one of building relationships. So if you want to play in this arena, fake will only get you so far, and then you’re on your own. Although time invested in some relationships may seem fruitless if they don’t bear the fruit you are targeting, the lessons and insight gained can be valuable in strengthening future relationships. There are some who prefer to sit on the outskirts and throw commentary like confetti, but you can’t win a round if you are not in the ring. Sure you may take a hit at times, but it is the only way you can throw a punch too.

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  1. 1
    Sugar Jones says:

    How funny. I just wrote about this very thing today. :)

  2. 2

    So true! There must be something in the air, b/c I have a drafted post (for my bloggity blog) about this same topic/one specific pr person who gets it right. It’s good to hear about those who get it right!

  3. 3
    Molly says:

    Outstanding post, Niri. So often people forget just that, this whole world really is built around relationships. And relationships are built on mutual trust.

  4. 4
    Jill Daniel says:

    I love this and it’s exactly what I needed to read in this moment!

  5. 5
    Meghan says:

    You can BUY friends on Twitter? What on earth has been going on while I’ve not been paying attention?

    Your sincerity is what people respond to, Niri. Keep it up.

  6. 6

    Great post! And very grounding. Now, what’s this about wine??? :)

  7. 7
    vanita says:

    i actually received an email today, from a Rachel, telling me that i’m no where to be found when searching google ranking and i should call and speak to their technicians about fixing that. I asked her to explain what google page ranking was and i asked her what search term she used. she replied, ignoring my question, telling me it was important for me to rank on google’s first page and her technician could help me via twitter. i told her where she could put her automated tweets.

    i like twitter. it’s a place to connect. no need to get acceptance first, just jump in and join the conversation. no barriers in getting to know people. and that’s what it’s for, right? getting to know people? sharing info, whether it be about your day or something useful you found on the web.

    I enjoyed your post, sorry for the long comment, I just happen to agree. and that Rachel lady ticked me off. :-D

  8. 8
    Yakini says:

    This is a great post, Niri. And I agree – without solid relationships, you really have nothing! All of the other things will come and they will go.

    Can’t wait to see you again – Time to Play in April???

  9. 9

    Excellent post. While I work with brands when I think the opportunity is relevant to my life, I would not put that over connecting with the community I involve myself in on Twitter. The brands could disappear along with my rank, but if I still have the connections with the people I have met, then I am better off anyway. Excellent job sir.

  10. 10

    I agree with you that it is all about relationships, but people do have relationships with brands/products (for better or worse). This happens everyday(Pepsi or Coke; McDonalds or BK).

    You do have people who are passionate about the brand and no matter what the other brand does, you can not entice the consumer to “cross the line” to the other side. very passionate people about the brand, and they feel a connection with the brand, not with specific individuals.

    You also have people who, based on price and/or coupons, will jump from one side of the fence to another, and brand does not matter to them, it is all about cost and benefit. This is where “loyalty programs” have a significant effect on people. That will build up the relationship to ensure that these individuals do not jump the fence anymore.


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