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Online Chatter the New Word of Mouth

September 27, 2012

Three Destinations Key to Increased Sales

Gone are the days when we exchanged conversations with family and friends asking for opinions and recommendations on where to buy any number of things. Nowadays, many of us turn to the Internet instead where online chatter serves as our primary source, and we converse with people we don’t even know.

As I’ve clicked my way through web pages, I’ve observed a whole new approach to word-of-mouth marketing – one that involves companies just as much as it involves consumers. Brands looking to build buzz and drive customers into their stores must be ready to actively monitor and engage in these online conversations. Developing a well-rounded approach and staying relevant are key to influencing purchase decisions.

Three destinations that should be at the top of a consumer-focused company’s list:

  1. Facebook. The posts that receive the most activity and comments are photos and videos. Rather than writing long litanies, a picture, infographic or video can say a thousand words. Visual appeal helps to garner more attention, keep brands top-of-mind and increase engagement. And, Facebook’s new Offers feature helps bring consumers to your business with discounts they can redeem and share with friends.
  2. Google Places. I attended a Business Expo recently where one of the speakers touted Google Places’ business profiles as an easy way to share information about your business, add photos, videos and coupons. With 97 percent of consumers searching for local businesses online, Google Places helps consumers find, rate and recommend businesses to others. So, be sure to claim your business listing – for free – and start responding to reviews and gaining new insights.
  3. Yelp. Whether they’re on Yelp, Yahoo!, Google+ or Amazon, I pretty much won’t buy anything new without checking the reviews first. The more reviews you have, the more credible you appear. So seek out real, genuine reviews and let consumers know that you value their feedback. More to come on this in a future blog post.

What’s the secret to your successful word-of-mouth online?

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