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Make word-of-mouth marketing work for you (and your brand reputation)

Today, your brand’s reputation depends largely on your online presence, and the conversations people have about it on the web. So how can you make sure that the conversations that people are having about your brand, are the right ones for it?

As we can read here, 92% of consumers believe more in recommendations from friends, family or followers – than any form of advertising.

Word-of-mouth is, and has always been, one of the most important marketing activities that a brand can do. But word-of-mouth is most often based on a good reputation. So how do you make sure that your reputation is as sound as it can be?

Here are some points that make it much easier to have control over your online reputation.

Who are you?

It cannot be said too many times. A brand must know itself, and be true to itself. So figure out your brand identity. A good starting point is to ask yourself what your customers should feel when they see your name and your logo in their feed.

When you’ve done this you need to ask yourself what your tone of voice should be. If you think that your customers should feel happy when they see you – focus on conveying a witty or funny voice. If they should feel secure – focus on a caring and safe voice.

However, this voice should be true to what you do and who you are. It’s easy to see when someone’s trying too hard and not succeeding – it ain’t that attractive.

Be yourself. It’s worth it - just ask Steve Buscemi

When you’re done with that, figure out what kind of customers you’d wish to attract. Create a persona and create a target audience and stick to it.

Set up guidelines so that your social media team knows, with certainty, how they should write and reply on social media – so that your brand will communicate in the same way, even though there’s several people who write for you.

Then it’s time to find your audience, and…

… start a conversation

Conversations don’t just happen. They develop when a brand stops focusing on broadcasting their sales pitch when they tweet, and instead concentrating on engaging with their followers and the questions they ask on a daily basis.

Often, brands are stuck chasing likes for their Facebook page, instead of using the likes they already have. In other words, they’re stuck collecting followers instead of connecting with their followers.

You’ll soon see that the 100+ followers that follow you because they like you are a much stronger force when it comes to word-of-mouth than the 10 000+ followers that only follow you because you said you’d give away a free iPad! Why? Because you’ve built a relationship with them.

Go forth and build more relationships!

With the use of online monitoring tools, you’ll be able to successfully build relationships with your customers – across several channels.

How does that work? Well, by setting up different keywords that you wish to monitor, you’ll be able not only to reach out to the ones who know about you, but also the ones who don’t know about you.

This means you can both nurture the relationships that you have, and build new ones.

Monitoring keywords also gives you control over what’s being said about your brand, anytime. That means it will become much easier to control your reputation, by adhering to the points in your brand identity.

And then the key factor when it comes to reputation management: you need to know what people are saying about you. With a monitoring tool, you’ll instantly know whenever someone mentions you in their post – whether it means being featured on a social media channel, blog, forum, or in the news.

And this is where you have the ability to affect their vision of your brand, so that they’ll tell their friends, family or followers about you in the best way possible.

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