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Highly Recommended: Harnessing the Power of Word of Mouth and Social Media to Build Your Brand and Your Business by Paul M. Rand

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CHAPTER 2Why Angie and Her List of Recommendations Are Worth $1.4 Billion

Sometimes we make succeeding in business more complicated than it needs to be. Among the myriad buzzwords, metrics, analytics, white papers, articles, statistics, and strategies surrounding social media, it’s easy to lose track of why all those tools exist in the first place. To clear away the clutter and focus on the takeaway, we need to return to the basics to remember what our customers think—and why.

Case in point: Angie’s List, a website that aggregates verified consumer reviews of service companies as a way to capture word of mouth wisdom went public in November 2011 and currently has a market cap of nearly $1.4 billion. There’s a very clear—and simple—reason why: ...

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