There's no question that the Internet has changed the way we do businessespecially when it comes to marketing. Consumer environments are short on trust and populated by consumers who are cynical, savvy, and informed. Though it's easier than ever to reach your customers, it's less likely that they'll listen. Today, the most valuable online currency isn't the dollar, but trust itself.
At the same time, social networks and personal connections have far more influence on consumers than your marketing messages ever willunless your business knows how to harness them. In Trust Agents, two social media veterans show you how to tap into the power of these networks to build your brand's influence, reputation, and profits.
Trust agents aren't necessarily marketers or salespeople; they're the digitally savvy people who use the Web to humanize businesses using transparency, honesty, and genuine relationships. As a result, they wield enough online influence to build up or bring down a business's reputation. This book will show you how to build profitable relationships with trust agents, or become one yourself.
In an online world defined by its transparency, becoming a trust agent is no easy task, but once you've established your reputation, you can build influence, share it, and reap the benefits of it for your business. When you've learned a trust agent's secrets, your words can carry more power and more weight than any PR firm or big corporate marketing department.
Learn to use the power of the Web and social networks for your business now. Trust Agents gives you all the tools and strategies you need to do it the right wayhonestly, effectively, and profitably.
The Internet has come nearly full circle, albeit content today is more mainstream than scientific. The success of social-networking sites such as Facebook, Digg, Twitter, and LinkedIn suggests that the web is once again more about information sharing and collaboration than promoting goods and services. This doesn't mean that money can't be made in the medium but merely that key business practices have changed—or have they? Brogan, cofounder of a new media conference series, and trend analyst and consultant Smith lead readers through today's most popular social-networking outlets and present six easy-to-understand behaviors that can positively influence business and reputation. Case studies illustrate why some socially driven initiatives succeed while others don't; proper etiquette within the new frontier of the "human web" is also discussed. The authors make the cornerstone concept of a "Trust Agent" highly understandable, providing clear examples both pre- and post-Google. Moreover, they show how one can achieve success by leveraging the web to build relationships based on trust. VERDICT Highly recommended for anyone interested in fostering online relationships or cultivating business on the web.—Judy Brink-Drescher, Molloy Coll., Rockville Ctr., NY