Create Online Buzz: How to Boost Your Reputation and Build Your Audience

Last Updated Oct 26, 2011 5:54 PM EDT

Ever since Eve told Adam, "This apple's amazing! You've got to try it!" word-of-mouth has been the best form of marketing. Yet,until the advent of social media, word-of-mouth marketing on a large scale hasn't existed. In the age of Facebook, Twitter, and Web 2.0, it's a whole different story.

Social media offers the most powerful way to connect with others, allowing you to network with thousands of people (literally!) from the comfort of your own home. Through harnessing the power of word-of-mouth marketing, social media can transform your business, product, service, and passion to the next level.

Dave Kerpen is the co-founder of Likeable Media and an expert at using social media to grow business and successfully redefine brands for large companies. In my recent interview with Dave, he discusses his New York Times Best-Seller, Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook (& Other Social Networks). Whether you're new to social media or just starting out your business, Dave shows how you can successfully transform your brand, build your reputation, and increase your audience.

Are your Twitter followers dwindling? Are you searching for an audience who will "Like" your brand? To help you get started, read an excerpt from our conversation below. Then, be sure and listen to the full Dave Kerpen Interview on Richer Life Insights to learn how social media can help take your business to the next level.

Robert: Alright. So, I'm the author of a book, or I've invented something, or I've started a non-profit for a cause I really care about. What should my first step be moving forward, if I've only dabbled in social media? Maybe I've got a Twitter account, or a Facebook page, but I haven't really done anything with it. What's the first thing I should start doing?

Dave: The very first thing I would start doing is actively listening, which doesn't necessarily involve your ears in social media, but it does involve searching and doing research. Look at keywords. You know, if you're an author, you need to look at keywords that people who read your book might be talking about, right? So, if I wrote a book about social media, I might look for the keywords "book on social media?". It's really that simple, and just look for people who say, "Hey! Anyone know a good book about social media?" Or, if I have a non-profit that I want to grow (and obviously that non-profit is tied to your cause), I look and listen on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn for people talking about that cause. You know, on Google you'll find articles written about something or links written about something, but on social networks you'll find real people talking about any and every topic of choice. And it's not necessarily about searching for your name. If you're a smaller brand or up-and-coming personality, you're not going to find lots of people talking about your name, but you're certainly going to find people talking about things that are relevant to what it is you do.

Robert: Right. So, you've got your Facebook page, you're on Twitter, you're searching, you're listening, and you're reading what people are talking about. At what point do you sort of throw your hat in and actually start to have communication with them?

Dave: I think as soon as you feel like you understand what they want and need, you can start giving it to them. I'm listening to you. I understand you well. If I'm at that (I go back to that cocktail party analogy with you, Robert), If I'm at that cocktail party, once I know that somebody needs an accountant, you know, if I'm a bad sales person, I'm going to say, "Hey! I'm an accountant. You should call me. Here's my business card." That's not going to work, right? What's going to work is, "I know a great accountant," or, "I know a great resource for finding a great accountant." So, similarly, once you're ready to start a conversation in social media, it's about figuring out what value you can provide to the people that you connected with, and to the people that you are following, and to the people that are following you. So, for instance, with our social media agency, we have 17--, I think almost 18,000 fans on Facebook already. We've probably updated that page once a day for two years. So, let's say we've had about 750 updates or so. Very, very few of them (and I can count on one hand how many of those updates) have been self promotional. The rest are truly delivering value to people, sharing articles, sharing tips, sharing resources, sharing recommendations to the point where, no kidding Robert, two separate people have walked up to me at conferences and said, "Dave, I just want to thank you for all the amazing content that you share and all the value that you deliver on Facebook. I've actually gotten so much great content that I've used it to start my own social media agency."

Listen to the full Dave Kerpen Interview now on Richer Life Insights!

Are you ready to create more money, time, energy, and passion in your life? Learn how to live your best life now with these free resources:

Get the "Achieving Peak Performance" ebook and video now! (free for a limited time)
You can also join a community of passionate people at Richer Life who want to achieve more in life and at work. With your free membership, you can participate in conversations I have with experts, celebrities, authors, and thought leaders that are laser-focused on practical ways to drive more money, motivation, and meaning into your life. Take the first step toward creating a better life by joining Richer Life for free now!
More on MoneyWatch:

  • Robert Pagliarini On Twitter»

    Robert Pagliarini is obsessed with inspiring others to create and empowering them to live life to the fullest by radically changing the way they invest their time and energy. He is the founder of Richer Life, a community of passionate people who want to learn and achieve more in life and at work. He is a Certified Financial Planner and the president of Pacifica Wealth Advisors, a boutique wealth management firm serving sudden wealth recipients and affluent individuals. He has appeared as a financial expert on 20/20, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew's Lifechangers and many others.