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The Small Business Online Marketing Handbook: Converting Online Conversations to Offline Sales by Annie Tsai

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Chapter 8

Leverage the Magic of Word of Mouth Effectively: Social and Community

We've sprinkled in conversations throughout this book about the importance of leveraging social channels to help build your online presence. We've discussed how to build an integrated marketing plan that takes into account all channels including social media, and we have provided tips on how to continually drive engagement using social media long after the initial sale. In this chapter, we dig a little deeper into the somewhat offline and more traditional notion of “word-of-mouth marketing” and discuss how you can leverage the technology available to you to drive online engagement in similar and measurable ways.

Why Is Word of Mouth So Powerful?

What's the first thing you do when you're looking for a great place to eat? Most likely, you ask someone you trust for recommendations. If you're in a new town on vacation, you might ask the concierge or desk clerk at the hotel where you're staying. If you're in your hometown, you'll probably ask a friend or relative that you believe has excellent taste or has steered you in the right direction in the past. These habits generally go unchanged when consumers migrate to online channels; most people have taken their offline trusted networks and used them largely as a starting point for building their social circles online. The difference is that when consumers are asking for advice or recommendations online, the questions get published to their entire network at ...

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