By Gee Dunsten
Hopefully, by now we all can agree that social media has given consumers the most powerful voice they have ever had. And it’s universally accepted that word of mouth has always been considered the very best form of advertising.
Since Facebook’s “Like” button was introduced in the spring of 2010, users can now show their approval of others’ photos, articles, ideas, discoveries, videos, products and services with just one simple click. In fact, it is estimated that Facebook’s “Like” button now gets more than one billion clicks per day!
Life recently provided me with a first-hand example of the power of the Like button. On the second morning of a three-day conference I was attending last fall, I woke up with terrible back pain. By the mid-morning coffee break, the pain had gotten much worse. With no relief in sight, and knowing that I would be speaking to a large audience the next morning, I decided that I’d better find a back specialist who would be able to straighten me out fast.
My entire lunch break was spent trying to find a chiropractor. First, I asked around for suggestions from people at the conference. I then looked in the yellow pages and found a few basic ads but very little information. I found twice as many back specialists through a Google search, however, only two had websites, neither of which impressed me. At the height of my despair, a friend suggested I do a search on Facebook. This quickly resulted in my finding two specialists in the area, and one of them had five likes from my Facebook friends. These recommendations gave me enough confidence to make an appointment later that afternoon.
This experience made me wonder why anyone today would take a risk and make a decision on a service, product or doctor based on ads or a paid Google placement instead of real recommendations from trusted friends?
We all have an opportunity to reach more people in a significant way through recommendations, so let’s get more “likeable” on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Yelp, LinkedIn, etc.
It all starts with improving our communication. Start by being a more proactive listener and talking less. The more we listen, the more people talk and the faster your relationship grows. Start asking yourself the four ‘W’ questions:
1. What do your customers like?
2. What do they value as relevant or important?
3. What content will get them to click your “Like” button?
4. What are some ways you can increase your two-way conversations with friends, followers and fans?
It’s not about us, it’s about them. Chuck Bode, a CRS from Omaha, Nebraska, pointed out that Omaha Steaks has increased its mail order business by over 30% in a short period of time by becoming more likeable. The company now spends more time asking questions and sharing great recipes, preparation secrets and winning grilling methods from their fans, instead of talking about how wonderful its meats are. The company is creating fans by providing content and relevant information. By increasing its likeability factor, Omaha Steaks is increasing its business.
Start thinking of ways to become more likeable to your followers and prospects. Remember the simple premise—people do business with people they like. And these days, popularity is just one simple click away.
George “Gee” Dunsten, president of Gee Dunsten Seminars, Inc., has been a real estate agent and broker/owner for almost 40 years.
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