Frank McClung
Advisory

Storing relational value in the digital space

The services business is all about people – specifically the relationship between you and the people you want to serve. And those relationships are valuable to you and your organization. But how and where in the digital space do you store that relational value you cultivate?

In the digital space, social media is the quickest, easiest, and most intimate place to create relational value. Social media is great for short term, surface-level relational value storage. Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, etc. allow you to interact with both broad though somewhat audiences and individual, potential clients directly and personally.

Yet, while social media allows you to create relational value quickly and easily, its relational storage capacity is limited, temporary, and must be continually renewed to maintain value. Social media also has limited value depth and offers you little control about where the relationship goes (just read your comment threads to confirm), not to mention ownership of social media based relational value is held solely by the social media platform. Having little control and no ownership makes it difficult for you to retrieve and transfer that relational value to other digital storehouses.

Your organization’s website, on the other hand, is the ideal place to store relational value over long periods while giving you control of the conversation and ownership of the store. Other digital stores of value like ebooks, ecourses, research papers, articles, and podcasts and other digital intellectual properties can “live” on your website for as long as needed in as much depth as you desire. Thus, your website becomes the best place to store, retrieve, transfer, and archive your organization’s strategic, long-term value in the digital space.

Your website is also superb place to make a lengthy introduction of who you are as an organization, and how you can provide value. This capacity gives you that ability to store credibility and trust in the relationship and provide a reference/retrieval for your points of view.

There are downsides, though, to storing relational value in your website, namely, websites are a lousy way to build intimacy. Few potential clients have the time or desire to visit individual websites on a frequent basis to consume content that isn’t published and pushed to them in their inbox or social media feed, the exception being news websites or aggregate sites with tons of authors and content.

How often do you visit a service organization’s website to see what new content (either posts or papers or media) that they have published? Me—almost never, unless the content comes to me. However, if you have a previous relationship with a person through social media or real-world interactions, they will visit your website initially to validate your organizations expertise and later to research further aspects (articles, papers, courses, posts, etc.) of your stored value.

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