Amanda Jesnoewski is the owner of Velocity Media + Communications and a copywriter, marketing strategist and publicist.
Five tips for increasing your word-of-mouth marketing
People only start talking about your business in a good way once you have developed trust, built a relationship, done something different, gone above and beyond for them or provided exceptional products and services, so it can often take time to build momentum and see results.
But, there are some ways you can speed up the process and do it on a larger scale so more people are talking about you at once.
So here are five tips to help you get people talking about your business and increase your word-of-mouth marketing.
1. Give people something to talk about
All word of mouth starts with a conversation, so give people something to talk about that they will want to share with others. Remember marketing is about grabbing attention and giving people a reason to choose you above anyone else.
It could be a massive competition you are running, your special discounts for members or clients, a reward for giving a referral, the five-star service they receive while they wait (like tea/coffee/hot chocolate, morning tea/afternoon tea and the latest array of magazines), a gift basket or voucher you sent just for being a good client, consistent good advice or handy tips, a phenomenal guarantee, the great results you generate or the solutions you find to their problems.
There are literally hundreds of reasons, you just need to find the best ones for your business and target audience.
2. Choose the right tools to get your message out
Choosing the right word-of-mouth tools to deliver your message will also help you further your reach faster. Think Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, send-to-a-friend and share-on-social-media buttons on your website and newsletter, free samples, clever direct mail-outs, vouchers, product demonstrations, speaking spots, guest posting on blogs and so on.
3. Join the conversation and engage people
When others start talking about you or interacting with you join in the conversation and keep them talking. Make your social media posts informative and entertaining, give them value and monitor what kinds of posts get the most interaction.
Reveal your brand's personality and let them get to know you as the person behind the brand by sharing a little about yourself – without being too personal. People do business with those they know, like and trust.
4. Ask for testimonials
When you have happy customers ask if they would mind giving you a testimonial, as this too will help with your word-of-mouth, especially if you ask them to do it on a platform like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube where others will see it.
It's one thing seeing a testimonial on a website, but seeing a testimonial given by a real person publicly? That adds a whole new level of reality and credibility. Even more so if you know the person giving it.
5. Monitor your reputation
As word-of-mouth marketing is based largely on customer experience it is important you make this area a priority and go out of your way to create a positive customer experiences.
It's also important to monitor your word-of-mouth marketing regularly through searches and Google Alerts to be aware of any negative feedback so you have the opportunity to respond, fix the issue and use it to grow and improve.
I've seen many businesses gain likes and customers from social media simply by acknowledging an unhappy customer, apologising for their negative experience and offering a solution to rectify the problem. Why? Because doing this shows character and that you're proactive and committed to your customers.
What has helped you increase your word-of-mouth marketing?