Editor’s Note: Exploring age discrimination, taking it easy, to even the successful habits for personal branders to be effective and not look like an egoist were just some of our focus area this week.
Here’s what you might have missed:
- Resume Botox: 9 Ways Your Resume can Avoid Ageism by Phil Rosenberg
- The YEC Retooling and Retraining The American Workforce by Maria Duron
- What do the 10% do Differently by Nance Rosen
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective Personal Branders by Heather Huhman
- How to Negotiate with Ease by Elinor Stutz
- 2 Key Resources for Crafting and Telling Your Story by Roger Parker
- Is Taking it Easy a Good Thing? by Aaron McDaniel
- Age Discrimination in Hiring: Facts Suggest Situation is Improving by Skip Freeman
- Are You a 2.0 Egotist? by Oscar Del Santo
- Lance Armstrong’s Brand Strength Will Determine Scandal Outcome by Katie Marston
- Stand Firm On Your Speaking Rates by Erik Deckers
- Stand Out From Your Competition, Improve Your Communication Skills! by Beth Kuhel
Upcoming we’ll here from the Young Entrepreneur’s Council, Glassdoor and our expert authors on how you can take charge of your brand during a political season.
Personal Word of Mouth Remains Powerful
Social media is the word of the day, no question about that. Websites like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ have become common household names today. The number of people on these sites is staggering – it’s an enormous potential customer base. Almost 1 billion people are on Facebook, and roughly one-thirds of that number is on Twitter. While these two social media sites are the pinnacles, there are many small, yet very popular platforms like Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and many more. The point is, with such a huge “people base” at your disposal (joining and using all the basic features of these sites are free), how do you go about turning it to your advantage? And what exactly do you use these platforms for? Let us consider the various possibilities social media has.
Social media’s role in the world
First up, it is very important to remember that social networking sites play a very vital role in today’s society. We can’t stress the word “very” enough. Just the sheer number of users should give you a decent idea about how popular these sites are among users. Add this to the fact that these sites let you advertise stuff on them, and you have one of the easiest ways to achieve social marketing.
Consider a simple scenario: Suppose a boy is going through his Facebook newsfeed and notices your advertisement of a company that sells branded shoes at huge discounts online. He will naturally be tempted to check it out, which brings a potential client to your website. Then, if he is interested, he will perhaps go ahead and make a purchase. Or, if he is not interested, he might tell a friend who is looking to buy shoes about it.
Personal Word of Mouth Marketing
What better way to let people know about your business than personal word of mouth marketing? It not only adds a layer of authenticity (people tend to believe in stuff their friends tell them, rather than strangers), but also gives your business scope for further personal word of mouth marketing, provided your business is as good as your advertisement claims, in which case the client will only be happy to return, or bring new clients. This is one excellent way of using social media as a marketing tool.
The second part of the question about how you can use social media to your advantage is that if you can use it to improve your customer service by interacting directly with your customers through social media platforms. This is indeed a very thoughtful question.
Consider the most popular way this feature is being put to use – Facebook pages. Almost every business that exists has a Facebook page, and answers questions that users put up on them. (Please note that while we are using Facebook as an example in both cases, counterparts exist in other social media sites.) This again is a very good way to build up your reputation, because if your response time is great and the answers are comprehensive, personal word of mouth marketing about how great your online customer service is will start and results will obviously follow. But this type of customer service may not go down with certain people, who might prefer personal, one-on-one assistance.
So the question about whether social medial can be used for marketing or improving customer service is indeed a complicated one. While there is no definite answer for this, the best way to get one would be to test and experiment, and go for what seems to bring the best results for your individual business.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand. Maria Duron is co-founder and moderator of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.