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Want my pick? Patriots 27 – Giants 24.

Word-of-Mouth Game Plan Yep, the Patriots will add another championship to their trophy case.

Consider this my official prediction for Sunday’s big game. Here’s why: Bleacher Report, a popular sports blog, pointed out that although the Giants have a dangerous group of receivers, the Patriots match up well. On the other hand, the Giants don’t have the defensive players to match up with Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Aaron Hernandez, giving New England an edge. SB Nation, another popular sports blog, is putting a lot of stock in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick’s combined experience in three Super Bowl wins. My own research showed that the Patriots had the NFL’s second-ranked offense through the regular season and a running back who has never fumbled in his entire career.

You didn’t think I would make an uneducated guess did you? No, being the web geek that I am, I searched high and low for reliable information to help me make a well-informed prediction. I trust the experts I find online, especially if my friends referred them to me. In 2012, that’s how people get advice. They trust the recommendations they find online, which usually come from their friends. See what I’m getting at?

If you are a business owner, the best method for spreading your good reputation is Word-of-Mouth marketing.

Word-of-Mouth marketing is based on the honest opinion of your customers, who will end up influencing other potential customers. A satisfied customer will tell others about your services; a disappointed customer will not. Your goal should be to have every one of your customers informing their friends about how great you are. In 2012, social media is the secret to kicking off your Word-of-Mouth marketing.

2012 Hint Bottom Line: Social media is connecting people via Word-of-Mouth in a way never before imaginable. That’s why you need to add social media to your 2012 marketing playbook.

This is how Word-of-Mouth explodes on Social Media Gone are the days when Word-of-Mouth meant simply picking up a phone and sharing an experience with a friend. Modern day Word-of-Mouth now revolves around social media; a constantly-spreading web of digital connections where one recommendation could reach thousands of people within a matter of minutes. Customers can instantly express their positive feelings about your business through a Facebook post, a Tweet, or an online review.

Given the high level of trust consumers have in Word-of-Mouth marketing, doesn’t it make sense to give them an avenue to talk positively about your business online?

You see, just like me and my Super Bowl research, people trust the opinions and advice they get from credible sources. And, when it comes to social media, people trust their friends’ opinions as if friends were true experts. So when your most recent customer goes to ‘Like’ your company on Facebook because they thought you did a good job, consider that to be Word-of-Mouth in action. Potential customers will see that their trusted sources think highly of your business, and they will call you the next time they need the service you provide.

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The good news is social media makes Word-of-Mouth marketing easy. Follow these 3 golden rules and you’ll see how useful social media can be for building Word-of-Mouth referrals in 2012:

  1. Interact with your customers.  Fill out your Facebook Business Page and ask your satisfied clients to ‘Like’ your page and leave online reviews. Maintaining personal online relationships with your customers gives them confidence in your business and lays the foundation for your positive reputation.
  2. Stay involved with your customers.  Update your pages often, answer your clients’ questions, and provide special offers. Don’t give your customers a reason to go elsewhere.
  3. Keep track of your customers.  They are responsible for initiating your Word-of-Mouth marketing. Be sure to let them know you appreciate their input and they’ll continue to share positive reviews with hundreds of their friends on a regular basis.

Your customers (and potential customers) are using social media to give each other recommendations all the time. With so much communication going on, you need to make sure your business is the topic of conversation. Want more advice about how to set up business pages on Facebook and Twitter? Give us a call at 1-888-381-6925 and we will tell you how we can help.


Power Stats:

90% of people trust their friends’ recommendations above any form of advertising.

Source: Venture Beat


Griff’s Last Stand…

Griffin Think about who you are predicting to win the Super Bowl. Did any of the previews or articles you read in the past two weeks change your opinion at all? Probably. Consider how much you value credible sources when you’re planning your 2012 marketing strategy.

Be sure to remember this article on Monday. Hopefully my prediction comes true, but if it was that easy to predict results, there would be no reason to watch games. However, one thing I am sure of is the value of Word-of-Mouth marketing in 2012. Take my word for it… even if you don’t agree with my Super Bowl prediction.

PS — Want to talk more about web marketing, client service, or anything else Internet related? Call us at 1-888-381-6925 to talk to someone right away or email me at newsletters@markethardware.com and I’ll reply as soon as I can. We’re always happy to help.

This article was written by Market Hardware’s Griffin Davis. Reach Griffin at gdavis@markethardware.com or reach anyone on his web expert team at 888-381-6925.

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