Category: word of mouth marketing

Why is it that we are quick to report bad customer service, dissatisfaction with a product or even a movie we saw? We share our opinion with friends, family and sometimes total strangers. Why are we slower to share praise or make recommendations? Word of mouth recommendations from a trusted source proves to be the best influence with decision makers. The digital space we live in today intensifies our reach when making recommendations.

When was the last time you received excellent customer service and posted a thank you on the Facebook business page? Have you purchased a product you are happy with and tweeted a review? Is there a speaker, vendor, or peer that you can promote via LinkedIn? Today we live in one-to-many world of communication. It’s time to take advantage of our social networks and share our experiences both good and bad.

I’m very good at saying thank you with a note or even a gift basket after an event. I do my best to make LinkedIn recommendations as often as possible. This time I decided to try something a little different with my recommendation.


What recommendation will you share and which social platform will you use?

In prep for the guest appearance of Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media on Social Geek Radio, I purchased his new book Likeable Social Media and received an advanced eBook copy. (You can listen to the broadcast here)

Looking through the chapters listed below you may assume it’s just another social media book. It is but Dave outlines not only the why but the how with a list of action items at the end of each chapter.

  1. Listen First, and Never Stop Listening
  2. Way Beyond “Women 25 – 54” Define Your Target Audience Better Than Ever Before
  3. Think And Act Like Your Customer
  4. Invite Your Customers To Be Your First Fans
  5. Engage: Create True Dialogue with, And Between Your Customers
  6. Respond Quickly To Bad Comments
  7. Respond To The Good Comments, Too
  8. Be Authentic
  9. Be Honest And Transparent
  10. Should You Ask A Lot Of Questions?
  11. Provide Value (Yes, For Free!)
  12. Share Stories (They’re  Your Social Currency!)
  13. Inspire Your Customers To Share Stories
  14. Integrate Social Media into the Entire Customer Experience
  15. Use Social Networks For Greater Impact
  16. Admit When You Screw Up, Then Leverage Your Mistake
  17. Consistently Deliver Excitement, Surprise, And Delight
  18. Don’t Sell! Just Make It Easy And Compiling For Customers To Buy

Dave explains that it’s not about you, it’s about the customer. He lists the top 10 reasons consumers will “like” a Facebook page and where to provide your value proposition to “like” you as many places as possible. He lists 11 places where you can integrate the call to action to your customers.

Likeable Social Media answers these questions and several others that I had: How do I use target marketing in the various social media platforms? What are brand ambassadors and how do I “activate” them? How should I ask discussion generating questions? How do I integrate social media across all your customer-facing departments?

My recommendation is to read the book but if you decide not to then I encourage you to connect with Dave via Twitter, Facebook and/or his blog!


Twitter @davekerpen or @likeablemedia



A brand ambassador is a current term used for individuals that promote a brand to the public. Brand ambassadors are very familiar with the product or service and they have a desire and motivation to share their knowledge to generate excitement. Most times they are individuals not affiliated with the brand/organization.

Some companies like Fiskars have quite an elaborate ambassador program. If you are interested in starting a social media brand ambassador campaign read this post: Ten Tips for Using Brand Ambassadors In A Social Media Campaign which should be helpful.

In my opinion, before starting a campaign outside of the brand I believe a brand must have ambassadors within the organization. In a franchise system the ambassadors should begin with the franchisees and the franchisees employees.

At the end of the week COMPUTER EXPLORERS franchisees will arrive for their annual conference. As I mentioned in an earlier post we are approaching this conference differently. We have  invited the best of our best, “our brand ambassadors”  to moderate sessions. These are franchisees that excel in business, are passionate about sharing their success and as Wikipedia states, “are  people who have the potential to appeal to the desires of the participants and strengthen their relationship with the brand.”

The video below represents a few of the COMPUTER EXPLORERS brand ambassadors.

Who are your brand ambassadors?

I don’t set New Year’s Resolutions. What I do is change bad habits and add new (good) ones.

Last year I read a blog post by Julien Smith, co-author of Trust Agents. His 2010 resolution was to read a book a week and he outlined why and how. Great idea but not something I thought I could dedicate the time or the energy to do.

This year, Julien posted that he actually accomplished his goal and decided to continue reading a book a week in 2011.

You can find the link to his post here. He outlines a very simple plan to follow. There are  114 responses with additional helpful tips should you decide to take the challenge. Personally, I will never make it but I decided that it is at least worth trying. To my surprise I finished my first book in a week!

Content Rules

Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman was a great book to pick for my first week of reading. One of the hardest things to do is to continually produce good content that will engage your audience. Ann and C.C. outline easy to implement strategies on how to “speak human and break some rules.” According to Ann and C.C.  you are allowed to start sentences with and, but, so and because! They also say that “every piece of content you create doesn’t have to be perfectly crafted, nicely argued, or well said.” I love these folks! The book is loaded with great deal of useful information and don’t forget to connect to them on Twitter @thecontentrules and on Facebook.

Some  say that I set a new resolution to read a book a week. I say, I started a good habit that might be hard to break. Either way I highly encourage anyone wanting to create killer blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, or webinars to read Content Rules.

Robin Scott, Franchisee of the Year

It was a last-minute surprise to have Robin Scott, COMPUTER EXPLORERS North Carolina Franchisee join me in New York for the Word of Mouth Supergenius conference organized by GasPedal. Robin is a member of the Franchise Advisory Council and was Franchisee of the Year in 2009. Robin is always supportive of new initiatives, demonstrates creativity and has immersed herself in social media.

Below I asked Robin a few questions about her attendance:

I know as a small business owner you must watch your business expenses very carefully. Attending Word of Mouth Supergenius conference was not a free event. Do you think you received your money’s worth by attending?

Considering the economic times, watching my spending is even more critical now.  The reason I chose to go to this conference was specifically for the subject matter, hoping I would learn things that would benefit my business and in the long run save me money. In that regard I felt it was worth it. I met lots of interesting knowledgeable people with great information on how to build business by word of mouth at no cost to the business owner. Doesn’t get any better than that!!

Speaker, Andy Sernovitz said “Your brand is not what you say it is – it’s what people tell their friends it is.” Do you think that is hard to achieve?

If you have a good product and service it shouldn’t be but consistency and quality is the key. Having good people work for you can make or break you.  WOM (word of mouth) works with good people.  As Andy says, “You have to have a brand worth talking about and a reason to talk about your stuff”. It’s a great message but it takes work. Nothing good can happen overnight.

Many are aware of the Domino’s story (store clerks posting a very unpleasant video on YouTube while making pizzas). We attended a presentation by Ramon DeLeon who spoke about his online presence for Domino’s. I watched you during Ramon’s presentation feverishly taking notes and declare “I want to be just like Ramon!”

Can you tell us what excited you?

Ramon was extremely engaging in his presentation and obviously with his customers and in the social media market. He has a tremendous presence on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, in addition to making personal appearances.  When people explain that you should build relationships with social media this is what Ramon does and with all this his Franchise has flourished. Even with Domino’s negative press, his positive attitude and love for what he does got his business past that. I thought Ramon was a Domino’s corporate employee but he is not. He is a franchisee with six locations in Chicago, Illinois. Ramon is a gentleman I can relate to. He is a perfect example of WOM (word of mouth) marketing, use of social media, and has great interpersonal skills taking him where I would like to see my business achieve.

For the nay-sayers out there, word of mouth marketing and social media does work!!!