Consumers are savvier than they’ve ever been. Before making a purchase or choosing a service, consumers will do their research. They’re comparing you to your competitors and looking to make the best decision for themselves. One big thing that’ll send them to you over the other guys is a recommendation. Good reviews, or the assurance of a friend, can be all someone needs to hand their money and their trust over to you.
Word of mouth is the most powerful force in the world, after water, and it’s tough to grasp and control (like water). But here are five steps to jumpstart word of mouth, boost your brand reputation and make your cash register sing, courtesy of Rob Fuggetta, CEO of social media marketing firm Zuberance.
1.) Identify your Word of Mouth Champions (AKA “Brand Advocates)
Advocates are your most loyal, enthusiastic, and engaged customers. They’re your most valuable customers. Advocates don’t just buy your products. They help you sell products. An easy way to identify Advocates to ask the “Ultimate Question” for customer loyalty: “On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company or products?” Customers who answer 9 or 10 are considered Advocates.
2.) Encourage Advocates to rate and review your products
Seventy percent of consumers trust online reviews, Nielsen says. Give Advocates online applications and tools to rate and review your products and services plus create positive stories about their experiences. This can help you boost online ratings and rankings.
3.) Amplify Advocates
Enable Advocates to rave about you on shopping sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and elsewhere by including social sharing widgets in content creation forms. Make it easy for Advocates to publish and/or share the content they’ve created with their social networks Among these friends and followers of your Advocates are your existing customers. (Birds of brand feather do flock together.)
4.) Monetize Advocates
Give Advocates promotional offers they can share with their friends and colleague. Here’s a hint: give Advocates
special offers to share instead of the same offers you give everyone.
5.) Generate referral leads
Make it easy for Advocates to generate referral leads and referral traffic to your website and landing pages by including links in the content and offers they share with their friends and colleagues.
For more on the elusive beast we know as word of mouth, see our archives!
Have you had success encouraging word of mouth? What techniques did you use? Let us know in the comments!