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How to become a word of mouth evangelist

Meet Ryan Rasmussen, the new Emerging Media Specialist at Levenger. 

His job is to do all the cool social media stuff that we all talk about.

He represents the company in social networks and Second Life. He schmoozes bloggers.  He encourages real consumers to help design and develop products.

Basically, he does all those things that big companies are struggling with.  While marketing departments and agencies are debating the optimal word of mouth strategy … Ryan just does it.

Oh, yeah — Ryan is also the manager of their Chicago store. 

No one made him do this stuff, no one paid him to do it, probably no one even knew. He did it because it was a great thing to do, because it’s fun to interact with real customers, and it’s a truly creative activity.  Most of what he does is on his own time.

Steve Leveen, the very smart CEO of Levenger, is wise enough to recognize Ryan’s genius and give him a title to match his activities.

Some of Ryan’s interesting projects:

My favorite Ryan quote: "Just be honest with people. That’s what makes it last."

Lesson:  Who is your Ryan? Do they have permission to do this? How do you let loose the passion?

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  1. Susan Gunelius September 15, 2007 at 9:58 pm #

    Sounds like Ryan will have a long, successful career ahead of him. More companies need to leverage the internet and social media as Levenger is allowing Ryan to do. Kudos to Levenger for recognizing the importance of Ryan’s efforts and the long-term benefits and return on investment they’ll bring.
    I’m definitely going to have to talk about this on MarketingBlurb. I’m so into viral marketing lately, and I love hearing about companies who recognize and proactively pursue social networking strategies.

  2. Ryan Rasmussen September 16, 2007 at 10:40 am #

    Thank you for the encouragement. I am happy to share what I have learned as a result of hands-on experimentation.
    I took a lesson from Tom Kelley in my approach. He prescribes a new face of business – that of the anthropologist. Embedded within vocal communities, I have found that using the emergent tools of the environment to spark discussion through collaborative new product development (otherwise known as “hacking”) generates a great deal of positive feedback. The result is a spike in consumer generated marketing, and a steady stream of collaborative ideation that gives consumers a voice in the direction of ‘their’ company.
    Conversations are the objective. I encourage others still hesitant to join in the discussions to break away from checklists and short-term goals that are designed to be measurable. [ex. Email 15 “talkers” -> check] The real value of open customer engagement is long term. Every example of remarkable customer service and interactivity that is open to search engine traffic becomes a footprint in the history of one’s brand identity. Weave inspiring narratives throughout the net that will compel future customers to fall in love with your own unique customer experience.
    Through persistent, genuine interaction, passionate customers convert from “talkers” into “teachers,” thereby amplifying the voices of every new community they encounter.

  3. NUWOM October 15, 2007 at 8:18 am #

    Today’s Guest Speaker: Ryan Rasmusses, Levenger

    Today’s guest speaker is Ryan Rasmussen of Levenger. He’s got a great story … read it here.

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