Why should you give a damn about WOMM? It’s been around forever (probably since cavemen days), so it must be old fashioned or out of date, right? WRONG!
Truth is that you should care big time. The reason WOMM has been around for so long is that it works like gangbusters. Most experts agree that WOMM generates more than twice the sales of traditional marketing…every $1 spent on WOMM goes 10 times further than traditional advertising. WOMM has been dubbed “The Most Important Social Media,” by Fortune, because it’s all about social connectivity.
Take a look at the facts, and you’ll become a believer.
According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising, making WOMM the most credible of all. A study from WOMMA (the word of mouth marketing trade association) and the American Marketing Association found that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. However, only 6% of marketers say they have mastered it. That means marketers are so caught up in “collecting” fans on social media that they’re forgetting how to “connect” with them.
If you’re a budget-challenged small business owner looking for frugal ways to grow, word of mouth, whether online or off, fits the bill, especially if you tap into these 10 hints to spark buzz about your business.
- Deliver exceptional everything.
The very first thing you should do to get people talking about your company is to provide above-and-beyond service, customer support, products or services, and even how your website looks and sounds. Think like L.L. Bean, a company that absolutely guarantees 100% satisfaction when you buy its amazing products, and your word of mouth will get a hefty boost.
- Have a pitch line that’s interesting and easily sharable.
Avoid being boring at all costs. No one wants to share boring. Keep your promotional efforts fun, exciting, and to the point. You should make your business sound like one person telling another about something great they’ve discovered and love…boiled down to a sentence or two.
- Be honest.
Keep in mind that a good WOMM strategy is credible, social, repeatable, measurable, and respectful. Dishonesty is NEVER acceptable, especially if you want word of mouth to be effective.
- Connect with high-profile industry influencers.
When it comes to word of mouth, some mouths are bigger than others. So if you can get influencers to start talking about your brand, other people will listen. Phone people you know through industry events (or have told you that they like something about your business) before you follow up with an email. Tell them what’s great about what you’re doing. Then ask if you can post their comments on your blog…or even get them to guest write a post. Getting an endorsement from someone that people admire is a golden opportunity to have your business profiled by a leader or celebrity who others trust and want to emulate.
- Ask for feedback…engage your fans.
Clients appreciate the opportunity to share their thoughts with you. This can happen through a casual conversation or more formally by asking clients to complete a survey about their experience. Listen to what they are telling you. Be part of the conversation about your products or services. Be a presence in your fans’ lives.
- Give them ongoing reasons to talk about you.
It can be about your amazing products, great service, insider knowledge, incredible stories, unbelievable facts, or even funny disclosures. It really depends on you to understand your consumers and what they like about you. Then provide whatever it is they need from you that’s worth talking up. Think distinctive ideas. You can create word-of-mouth opportunities with special sales, great new features, or something fun, such as a contest or event.
- Request testimonials.
“If a client gives you great feedback, ask them if you can use their endorsement to let others know about their experience. One or two sentences on their thoughts can be helpful on your website, brochure, social media channels or other marketing pieces,” recommends an article in Inc.
- Deliver a variety of easy ways to talk and share.
Have a wide array of social accounts, inner circles, and other ways for them to speak to you and to each other. For example, you can use your business profile, website, newsletter, brochure, emails, and social-media pages should include tell-a-friend, tell us what you think forms, buttons, and other calls to action (CTAs). Also consider postcard mailings, coupons, stickers, QR codes, or other devices to invite word-of-mouth interaction. When you make it easy for people to share (through social media and beyond), they are much more likely to do so.
- Incentivize people to get them talking.
There’s nothing wrong with a little bribery to get things going. Offer a discount to people who leave reviews or give coupons to people who write a longer review for your blog or a little gift for referring a friend.
- Show your appreciation.
This step, unfortunately, often gets overlooked. When you hear that someone has recommended you to another person or business, reach out to them and say, “Thanks!” When you gain new clients, customers or prospects, ask how they heard about you, so you know whom to thank. Reply to emails, Facebook messages and blog comments as quickly as possible. This will, in turn, generate even more word of mouth.
To tap into worth of mouth marketing and amp up the buzz about your business, talk to the WOMM experts at Solamar.