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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Three Steps to More Word-of-Mouth -- and More Business | Gail Goodman, Entrepreneur.com

[W]hen you connect with your customers online, you stop speaking to them and start talking with them. And wonderful things begin to happen. Those golden word-of-mouth moments that happen naturally offline at parties or networking events suddenly begin happening online right in front of your eyes on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and review sites.
So writes Gail Goodman, but she makes clear that these word-of-mouth connections  are more than just fun moments. They can aid the business, entrepreneur, nonprofit organization, or government agency using them.

She writes:
On social networks, word-of-mouth referrals become amplified: the friends, families and networks of your customers see these referrals and might just beat a path to your door.
She goes on to describe three steps for using word-of-mouth to market your services or products. Customers and clients who know your business might use social media to spread the word about it.

Step 1: Provide a Wow! experience

She gives several examples of how a small or midsize business can create personal connections with customers by doing something they remember ... and then tell other people about.

Step 2: Entice to stay in touch

Besides asking people to “like” your Facebook page or subscribe to your newsletter, you can entice them to do so by offering something in return. She gives examples of free information, special events, birthday cards and discounts.

Step 3: Engage people

Goodwin writes:
“Engagement” means sharing content that inspires your fans, followers, email subscribers, blog readers and other online contacts to interact with you.
She describes five things you can do to engage your customers, consumers and donors, covering these topics:
  • Question and Answer 
  • Sharing/Information
  • Discussion
  • Promotions and Announcements 
  • Events.

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