If you’re a marketer, you probably already use calls to action when advertising your business. We encourage people to “click here”, “check it out”, or “follow us on Facebook,” but there’s a definite case to be made for a new (old) call to action: tell your friends!
Word of mouth traffic has the built-in benefit of coming from a trusted source: a friend, an online influencer, a co-worker, whoever, but this trust factor is the reason why word of mouth is such an efficient source of adverting.
It’s also far less saturated. How many Facebook ads do you see per day? But how many times a day does someone you know tell you about a brand or product they really like?
Word of mouth has huge potential for marketing your products, but it can be a difficult science to master. You have to strike a careful balance between encouraging your customers to share your business without coming across as pushy, and all the while doing it with the use of social media for maximum broadcasting effect.
Need some help? Read on for these top tips on using social media for word of mouth marketing!
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Know Your Differentiating Factors
Before you start, look at your products. What makes you unique? What makes your product or service shine? You have to know what it is your clients should be singing your praises for and communicate that differentiating value quickly and easily.
Is your product the fastest? Cheapest? Cutest? More customizable? Whatever it is, make sure your customers know exactly what you’ve got that they should be recommending you for.
Get a Hashtag and Use It
Somewhere inside the lifecycle of your customer journey, you should let your customers know what your hashtag is and ask them to use it and tag your brand. The hashtag should be unique but memorable enough that clients don’t have to think too hard to use it.
This way, if they give you a shoutout on social media you’ll be able to track mentions of it and keep on top of what people are saying. If you got an excellent review, be sure and share the post to share the love!
One of my popular example of this is the #ShareaCoke hashtag started by Coca-Cola.
For the same reason as above, make sure that you customers can leave public reviews on some platform. If your product doesn’t lend itself well to review forums, say, a service or a tool, ask happy customers if you can write a case study on them. Get direct quotes from them on what you did that made them happy.
What you’re trying to do here is showcase the voices of real people and what they think of your product. Jay Baer shared the fascinating statistic that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know directly and 70% trust anonymous online reviews.
Remember, social sharing is as good as word of mouth in person!
Encourage Loyalty and Repeat Customers
This is true for all businesses, but customer loyalty is one of the best ways to turn a satisfied customer into a lifelong brand ambassador who will share your company with their network. One of my clients, Kangaroo Rewards, is based on this philosophy, and we’ve seen it work wonders for businesses across the world.
Giving discounts, using a loyalty program, and showering your customers with love is the best way to delight your customers and get them to come back again and again- with their friends in tow!
Remember that word of mouth marketing is getting satisfied customers to advertise your product for you. There are so few situations where this happens, that word of mouth marketing is an incredibly valuable source of referral traffic for your business. If you haven’t made an effort to promote yourself via word of mouth, consider this your signal to start!
Andréa Jones is a social media strategist who works with lifestyle brands to build their online presence through targeted social media and content marketing solutions. She's also the founder of SavvySocialSchool.com – a membership community with everything you need to achieve visibility, growth, and engagement on social media.