Browsing Tag

word of mouth marketing

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Word of Like – How Word of Mouth has Changed in the Social Media Era

Word of Like - How Word of Mouth has Changed in the Social Media Era

The way we make decisions and get advice has changed drastically over the last ten years. These days we are more likely to go online and read reviews then we are to ask a friend or co-worker about a product or service. As we become more connected to the internet, more of our decision making has became internet based.

Since the rise of social media, our circle of influencers has changed. Social media allows us to connect with people who’s opinions we trust and vice-versa, even if we do not have an in-person connection with them. This has not only changed us, it has changed the way businesses need to reach people as well.

Deciding how to handle Social Media in your business is challenging because there is no single undisputed correct way to do it. I have been an early adopter of all social media platforms since I dialed into my first BBS (Bulletin Board System) to read posts about my Apple IIgs in the mid 80’s. Even though every social network has it’s distinguishing differences, the opinions of our friends and those whom we follow are typically the main focus. On Twitter, you can retweet something, on Facebook you can Like pretty much anything and on Google+ you can +1 to show you like something. All of these retweets, likes and +1’s are seen by our friends.

A couple of months ago, I clicked the Like button on a high school friend’s new startup business called KitchenBox. The other night, I get a Facebook email from another friend who asks if I had ever used KitchenBox because he is considering a kitchen remodel for his home. When I posted a photo of my new Fitbit Flex activity tracker wrist band, I received multiple comments back asking me what I thought about it from friends I rarely see in person and a few from people I have never met in person. A couple of times each week, I am asked by someone what I think about a product or service I expressed interest in one way or another on one of my social media profiles. Because I personally have done this, I am certain that there are people who simply observe and make decisions with out taking the time to ask about the product or service first.

The internet put perception on steroids. We used to look at our neighbors and think to ourselves, “they look happy, I need one of those too.” Now we watch our Facebook friends posts and likes and come to similar conclusions multiple times per day.

As a business, this means that you should be connected to these social networks in a way that will allow people to like, share and connect with your business, products and services. Businesses can be more personable online and your business should take the opportunity to do that. Create a Facebook page and post something that your type of customer might find interesting. Use social media to keep your customers or potential customers informed about issues related to your industry. Share photos that your customers post of them using your products. There are so many ways to create “likable” content for people to see on social media with out it taking much of your time.

If a Facebook Like turns into a new client, how much ROI is that over what you would have had to spend on traditional marketing? Not everything you post will turn into new business, but it can lead to new business. It’s all about scattering seeds, which could sprout anywhere. This is the Word of Like. It is not the typical conversation that we used to have but it accomplishes the same thing and it’s much more scalable.

Create content that people can share. Build trust by answering questions publicly on social networks. Showcase what your current customers and clients are doing with your products and services. Constantly look for ways you can be helpful with out being overly self-promoting.

If you are lost when it comes to Facebook, check out this free course I posted last year about Facebook Pages for Business: http://bit.ly/intro-to-facebook-pages

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5 Tips For Managing The Online Reputation Of Your Business

As word-of-mouth continues to change, it is more important than ever to assure the reputation of your business online is as good, if not better than it is online. The majority of consumers are using the internet to find information on products and services. In Feb 2011, Inc. Magazine reported that, “Nearly half of consumers use a combination of search and social media to fuel their purchasing decisions…” Any negative information that a potential consumer could find about your business could lead to a loss of sales. By managing the online reputation of your business, you are avoiding the potential loss of business. To help with this process, here are five tips to help you manage the online reputation of your business.

  1. Monitor Social Media and the Search Engines: Unsatisfied customers go straight to Social Media to voice their complaints these days and it’s usually before they contact your company to try and fix their issue first. Staying on top of conversations concerning your company will allow you to interject and attempt to solve the issue publicly. There have been many examples of companies successfully reaching out to upset customers through social media to fix their problems. Reconciling their issue as publicly as you can will show their friends that your company stands behind their products and services.
  2. Don’t Put All Of Your Eggs In One Social Media Basket: From Search Engines to Social Networks, there are a lot of places people can find information about your business. Have a presence on all of the popular social networks and create positive content about your products and services on your website in the form of articles or a blog. Video content posted to sites like Youtube also give you an opportunity to showcase what you offer.
  3. Do Not Get Into Arguments Online: When you argue with one of your consumers online it becomes public record. Other people can watch as you try to defend yourself rather than defend your customer. Nobody wants to do business with someone who comes across selfish. If the matter can not be dealt with in a positive manor online, end the online conversation with an opportunity to talk to the consumer directly. Make sure that you do handle their situation so that if they decide to return to the conversation online, the have nothing else negative to add.
  4. Promote the Reviews Your Customers Leave: We all understand that self-promotion is not always the best way to go, but when your customers leave positive reviews of your business online, you should do whatever you can to get those reviews to the eyes of more customers. You can embed reviews you have received in your website, quote them on other social networks or even print them out for others to see. When your customers review your business, encourage them to share their reviews on their own social media profiles.
  5. Monitor Related Search Results to your Business: Make sure you are on top of what your customers see when they search for your business, your competitors business and anything else related to your business. Dig down a few pages past the first search result page. Take advantage of a free service from Google called Google Alerts. You can set up specific alerts that can be sent to your email every time your business, website or other keywords are mentioned online.

Being a business owner or manager is much more involved than it used to be. Making sure your numbers are scaling in a positive direction will involve keeping track of what others are saying. The sphere of influence each of us have is much larger than it used to be. Information travels fast and once it’s moving, it is harder to stop. Your online presence should start with your website, not your social media. From your website, your web presence should extend out to social media, forums and other online communities. Being proactive rather than reactive.

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Being More Referable

In a world where everybody has an incentive program and a special offer in an attempt to create additional referrals they are really missing the point. It is true that these things will do something to generate more business but it really takes a different approach to create referrals that keep coming and regenerating through customers on to new customers. Building a foundation that automatically generates referral momentum is not done through external actions, it starts by implementing the internal tendencies that I am about to talk about into yourself, your brand and the culture of what you do.

Today in my BNI chapter, I gave a talk on how to be more referable. I really wish that I had recorded it because I was able to integrate my talk into the businesses and lives of the people who were present to hear about it. In this audio podcast I have attempted to recreate the talk and use a few real life examples of how a person of business can make themselves more referable. I hope you enjoy the first episode of “Jerad Hill’s Secret Public Network Marketing Podcast!”

[audio:http://blip.tv/file/get/Jeradhill-JeradHillsSecretPublicNetworkMarketingPodcastEpisode1131.mp3]

This audio is available as part of a new podcast titled “Jerad Hill’s Secret Public Network Marketing Podcast” which you can find on iTunes and right here at JeradHill.com