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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Word of Mouth has Gone Digital

Small businesses have always depended  on Word of Mouth (WOM) for referrals. But, since WOM is so vague and inclusive (does it include t-shirts? signage? bumper stickers? local sponsorships?) that it is more of an outcome than a marketing tool that is possible to track.

Local marketers can, however, track digital WOM: reviews on Facebook, Yelp, Google+ Local (replacing Google Places)*, Foursquare, and other social media sites  and review sites.

NOTE: just as good digital WOM can help you, bad digital WOM can hurt you. A quick and inexpensive start to online reputation management is making sure you "own" your brand.

How?  Start filling out profiles featuring your personal/brand/company name. Start with the biggies like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (top locations for business profiles: http://goo.gl/t0cSV;top locations for personal profiles: http://goo.gl/w2auz) and then make a time commitment to doing one or two sign ups a day, it’ll be worth the effort.  If you’re time-strapped or if you want to get it done right away, here is an inexpensive service that will quickly secure your name/brand on 300 social media sites: www.IdentityTheftProtectionFrom.com.

*What happened to Google Places? As a business owner, you can still use Google Places to manage your business. As a user, you can now rate, review and upload photos through Google's Google+ Local - Details Here.
infographic source: Milo

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