Feeling buried in all of your social media posts, blogs, hashtags, and email campaigns? Take a breather, slow down, and remember to consider the importance of the original marketing strategy… word of mouth advertising.
In the new age of the internet, your typical understanding of word of mouth advertising has evolved. It’s important to understand this evolution and how to use it to your business advantage.
Consider how your business is directly promoted by past and current customers, referral partners, and colleagues through:
- Traditional word of mouth advertising. Arguably, the most difficult to plan for as you cannot control what people will say, either positive or negative, about their experience with your company. While you can’t put the actual words in the mouth and make them deliver it, you can motivate them to do so based on their experience. The caveat – MAKE SURE THEIR EXPERIENCE IS POSITIVE. You’ve heard it before: people are more likely compelled to share a negative experience. The challenge is to provide such an overwhelmingly positive one that they’re just bursting at the seams to share their story and recommend your services. The bottom line: deliver exceptional customer service, every customer, every time.
Have some control over your “word of mouth advertisers” by developing your referral partner pipeline with these networking tips.
- Online reviews. Ahhhh… today’s most likely means of “word of mouth” advertising. Whether a potential customer sees your review directly on your website or Facebook (or other social media) page, people are talking about your business online. The review may not always come in the form of a direct review highlighting their experience with you. Consider all social media traffic a review in some form or another. A follower retweets your post, a friend shares your latest photo; however your audience is engaging with you creates traffic by expanding your reach from one customer to the next. After all, people are more likely to share posts about brands or companies they trust and that referral is what opens the door to new business. P.S. Don’t forget to ask your satisfied customers directly for reviews!
Unfortunately, not all reviews are positive. Don’t panic. Take a deep breath and follow these steps to (positively) respond to a negative online review.