To successfully connect online with customers, music retailers have to figure out how to stay on their radar without being perceived as overbearing.

Social media, e-mail, branded promotional items and print mailings provide an effective arsenal of tools to stay in touch with customers and promote your products and services. Using them wisely can raise your brand awareness, build your customer base and create a steady stream of repeat buyers and sales opportunities.

With all the options you have available, how do you avoid crossing that fine line of contacting your customer too much and actually pushing him or her away? The key is to make sure that whatever you send or post—whether it’s a picture, a video or a newsletter—is relevant and you don’t bombard customers with blatant sales pitches that do nothing to build goodwill and a positive vibe about your business.

More dealers are using Facebook, Twitter and other social media to reach customers. Sadly, many are posting information that is doing very little to promote their brand and that comes across as nothing but self-promotion. Remember one key fact: Social media is not “sales media” and it should be used to inspire, educate, engage and build goodwill. Once you have successfully laid this foundation, the sales will follow.

It’s wonderful to see dealers reaching out to customers through these channels. Although you might have your own ideas about what to send out, it’s vitally important to remember what customers expect to receive from you. Just about every news or information delivery system today is saturated with commercials, and this has conditioned consumers simply to tune out. Many are taking more drastic measures, such as boycotting channels, Web sites, magazines and other media. Consumers are turning to social media as a respite from this growing source of daily aggravation. You want to be perceived as part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Facebook is one platform that small businesses find especially effective in connecting directly with customers, building brand recognition and sharing information. When you want to communicate with customers, make sure you have something interesting and engaging to say. This may include local or industry news, a photo or video of a new product, or even an announce…
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