Online marketing, internet marketing, social media marketing – it’s all about establishing relationships with new potential customers and clients, building trust, and then maintaining those relationships day after day, year after year. Successful internet marketing puts relationships first, not technology. A business or a professional practice can have an attractive, informative website, a well-written blog, and great Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn pages, but if you aren’t interacting with your audience and providing great customer service, it could all be in vain.

A good internet marketing firm can help you create your website and blog, secondary sites, social media accounts, and give you marketing tools ranging from chatboxes to podcasts, but when it comes to serving and satisfying your potential customers, it’s going to be mostly your own effort. When potential clients view your business positively, it’s a big long-term benefit, but when you’re viewed negatively, word is going to get around fast.

Listen to what your audience is saying, and then provide solutions. When a problem emerges, resolve to fix it. Be creative. You can’t make everyone happy, but satisfying most of your customers most of the time is an achievable goal. Actually interacting and communicating with individual prospective customers is imperative. Today’s consumer wants to do business with businesses that are accessible and personable. For example, Starbucks – a global corporate giant – instructs its baristas to learn the names of regular customers and their regular drinks. It’s been a wildly successful approach that you can apply to your own business.

Dialogue with your Facebook friends and followers. Be sure a contact form is part of your website. You might even consider allowing comments on your blog (although they will need to be moderated). You need information about customers to satisfy them, so make it easy for them to reach you and be certain to respond. A professional internet marketing firm can give you the tools you need, but then, it’s up to you to listen and learn from your customers.