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How often have you met with someone or considered dealing with a person or business because someone suggested/recommended that you do so?

Without realizing it, word-of-mouth marketing has just worked its magic on you.

Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful. It’s a double-edged sword that can bring great positive recommendations or a landslide of negative comments. It can easily make or break a reputation. And, these days, third-party feedback and comments can flow from online to offline and online again.

First, you must understand word-of-mouth cannot only be encouraged but also facilitated. This means you can control the information you want publicized to generate enough interest to keep people talking. It takes a lot of thought and planning to relay the right message. It’s important to be brief and positive.

Second, keep online conversations going by posting regular updates to Facebook, Twitter and other sites. The lifespan of a post or update is short, so listen and connect with your contacts daily.

Third, it is important to listen. When you see people at networking events, mixers or conferences, there’s nothing more valuable than your ability to make someone else feel valued and remembered. If you can ask a question about one of their posts regarding their job, family, a challenge or a trip, you sound much more like someone who “cares,” rather than someone playing the numbers game to gather the most connections.

Tips to try this week are:

• Identify three people you’ll listen to more closely and review their updates.
• Interact with their updates online with feedback or sharing their information if it’s appropriate and helpful to them.
• Connect with them away from social media sites, either via e-mail, snail mail, or phone to address a need or update they shared.

For example, a contact of mine posted she was struggling to find the perfect baby shower invite for the baby shower she was hosting for her sister. I posted on her page some ideas about where she can shop. Then, I e-mailed her a link and some specifics of a friend who provides that type of service. She e-mailed back to let me know that even though she didn’t order any invites for this occasion from the source I shared with her, she had another event she was planning and would shop there. She also shared the baby shower was a complete success. I sent her a greeting card saying “congrats” on hosting a great event for her sister.

By the way, when her business manager said they needed to review outside sources for social marketing, whom do you think she recommended?

Maria Elena Duron, CEO (chief engagement officer), buzz2bucks | a word-of-mouth marketing firm, is skilled at making networks “work” and harnessing powerful online and offline buzz. She facilitates online visibility services and word-of-mouth coaching and workshops – taking companies and professionals from buzz-worthy to bucks-worthy,

One Response to “Personal Branding: Online and Offline Word-of-Mouth

    Thanks for publishing this blog ,i gone through this blog.

    November 26, 2012

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