In a recent post on HBR, David Aaker discusses a 1966 report based on a study of word-of-mouth persuasion. It is interesting how relevant this report is some 50-plus years later. Social Media Marketing is indeed not new nor are the principles of success in building your local brand using word-of-mouth.
Some large corporations have been treating social media as a new advertising platform. Advertising in a social network is like having an old-school MLMer at your party. They keep trying to talk about their “opportunity” and everyone keeps retreating to find someone else to talk to.
So, how can small businesses use social media to build their local brand and get the word out about their business? Notice how the findings in the HBR report can help your social media efforts.
- Product-involvement (33% impact): When your product/service is worth talking about, people will talk about it. If you are remarkable in someway that is important to your clients then they will tell other like-minded people about you. If your business is not serving its clients well then social media will amplify your problems (which can be useful in fixing them).
- Self-involvement (24% impact): People like to be the “source” of good recommendations. Who knew? So, if your real estate business has something unique to offer there is a good chance a certain tribe will want to spread the message. Of course, they also do not want to be the source of a bad recommendation. So, you better deliver the goods consistently.
- Other-involvement (20% impact): People also want to be good neighbors. This helped Groupon spread rapidly. Jane finds a great deal and “has” to tell her friends about it. Conversely being a good neighbor also means warning your friends about bad companies. Offer something worth spreading so your clients can be the hero that brings good deals to their tribe.
- Message-involvement (20% impact): Do you have a message (not an ad) that absolutely must be shared? Something that is so informative, shocking, or humorous is more likely to be spread. Make sure this aligns with your audience and type of business. If it applies it can be powerful.
Social Media Marketing can be a huge boost to your local brand IF your real estate business truly delivers. Unhappy clients can really amplify your problems and tarnish your reputation so be prepared to address them quickly.