Word of mouth marketing, while it seems easy enough, is one of the most important aspects of growing and maintaining your business.
Talk is cheap, and word really travels fast. Sort of like a wildfire. That can mean good news for your business, or it could be a disaster. You need to learn to leverage the fact that people just like to talk and spread stories, especially on social media. By learning to use talk to your advantage, you’ll master the art of getting people to talk about you.
Why Is Word of Mouth Marketing Important?
In this day and age, everyone is spreading their feelings and opinions across social media channels, whether anyone wants to hear them or not. Talk about cheap advertising! If you can get people to talk positively about your business, that’s better advertising than any marketing campaign you can slave to put together.
According to Jay Baer, CSP, CPAE, and author of Talk Trigges: The Complete Guide to Creating Customers With Word of Mouth, “Depending on what your business type is, between 50-91% of all sales are influenced by word of mouth.” That’s a huge portion of your sales!
Think about it. Sally comes into your business and purchases your products. She comments on Facebook that is thrilled she decided to give your shop a try and loves what she purchased. Sally has a dinner party the next week. Her friends see your item laying on the counter and ask her about it. Conversation ensues while Sally proceeds to tell them how much she loves your product and what it has done for her, maybe even changed her life in some small way. Her friends take selfies with the product, posting them on Instagram, #CANTWAITTOGETONEFORMYSELF. They each come into your shop, purchasing the same product, and then going home and creating chat about it on Facebook, creating more brand awareness, and convincing other people to come check you out.
You just gained perhaps nine new customers based off of one happy person that proceeded to tell her friends. The same scenario can hold true if you offer services, instead of products. There’s nothing like a positive endorsement from an existing customer to make a strong impression on prospective customers or clients.
Now, just imagine what can happen when you set out to purposefully leverage that sort of person-to-person chatter. Holy Smokes, right?!
How to Generate That Buzz
The best ways to generate positive chit-chat about your business are sort of the obvious: offer an absolutely outstanding product or service, and positively excel at customer service. Those two things generate trust. When people trust you, they’re more willing to spread positive word about you. Good customer experience is everything.
But it doesn’t end there. That’s just the beginning. Once you are sure you have those two bases covered, there are other ways that you can generate some buzz.
You’re looking to attract attention and generate excitement about your brand.
That really sounds incredibly simple, yet in today’s world, that is a concept that’s pretty scarce. Because of that, being transparent can really set you apart from the competition.
Merriam Webster defines transparent as “easy to notice or understand,” and “honest and open: not secretive.” To put it simply? Engage in honest, forthright communication.
How can that translate to your business? Just be honest, even when it’s uncomfortable, taking responsibility for your mistakes or oversights. That includes conversations with your employees, as they can be star brand ambassadors when they feel valued and trusted.
In order for people to recognize your brand and want to talk about it, they need to first recognize you. That means you have to make yourself visible outside of your shop or place of business. Get out into the community and generate real relationships.
Giving back to the community is the perfect opportunity for others to see you in a positive light, gaining their trust. Host a drive for the local food bank or assist with a coat collection similar to Pittsburgh’s Project Bundle Up for those in need.
Customers know they can always choose to go with the competition. When you’re genuinely thankful that they opted for you, it makes them feel good about their decision, and they want to spread that feeling. Don’t forget about a customer once the transaction is over. Find ways to continue the relationship with them so that the next time they have a need, you’ll be in the front of their minds. Utilize the help of online newsletters or mailing birthday cards.
Always say thank you. Thank a new customer for choosing you. Ask them how they heard of you. If they’ve been referred by an existing client or customer, make sure that you send a thank you to the person. Really let them know how important their personal referrals are to your business and that you’re happy they’ve had a good experience with you. Better yet, send them a thank you gift. One of your leading products or services will really make them feel appreciated, and more inclined to continue spreading the word.
You can also try some of these other ways to generate some hype and chatter about your business, but if you’re really not sure where to begin, enlist the assistance of a professional like Clock Tower Insight. They have the ability to help you narrow in on what is working for you, and what isn’t, simplifying things for you.