You’ve surely heard of word of mouth (WOM) marketing, but today let’s look at how WOM marketing has evolved into the world of online communications. Experts in the field have cleverly termed it word of mouse. People are talking, tweeting, liking, rating and recommending. How can you take advantage of this free buzz?
You don’t have to be an elephant to be a pro at WOM, just a willing learner. Here are some simple definitions to get you started, so that you can get to know the tools in your toolbox.
A referral is when someone personally vouches for a specific product or person in a company. This referral is given to a particular person, and is not mass communicated. Referrals have a high success rate because the person receiving the referral now has trustworthy information to make a purchase.
Online, companies are now setting up referrals systems in order to reward returning customers and creating incentive. Not only that, but creating a referral system creates awareness, making easier to increase the amount of referrals your company receives.
Now, the difference between a recommendation and a referral is slightly different. A recommendation is when a person (who you may or may not know,) vouches for a product or a company but recommends on a large scale. It’s not just viewable or invited to one person; the message reaches a greater audience.
A recommendation is less personal, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less powerful. A well written, detailed recommendation from a stranger can help sway customers into making a purchasing decision.
A review is a chance for customers to rate and critique. The object being critiqued can be the company itself, a particular product or even speed of service. Anything and everything is fair game.
Word of advice- even though your speed of service may not have been the best at one point and you received a bad review, do not erase it.
Address it right away, and keep it there. It shows transparency in the company, customers can see how it was addressed, and it shows open honesty. Remember: all someone has to do is take a screen shot of the negative review and it lasts forever. To see an example of where word of mouse and social media got way out of hand, check out the Boners BBQ Public Relations Crisis article by UnMarketing.
A viral reference is when someone talks about your product or service in a video. It can be on YouTube or other video hosting sites. It’s very open and honest, because other viewers can see for themselves how great/not so great the product or service is.
Tweeting is probably the fastest word of mouse on the internet right now, and people can easily see if your company is being talked about, re-tweeted, or if you are engaging your followers. Having a reliable presence on Twitter is ideal, it shows consistency and reliability.
Turn Bad PR to Good PR
There is going to sometimes (or maybe even just one time) where a mistake will happen in your company that you can’t control. However, you may be able to control the response. While your mistake may forever be floating on the web, make sure your response is too. Be mature about your mistakes.
Take FedEx for example. A video on a delivery gone wrong became a huge hit on YouTube:
I think we can all agree, after more than 8 million views, this isn’t really an issue that can be ignored.
To respond, a Senior VP of FedEx made a video on YouTube apologizing and letting everyone know what the outcome was going to be. Check it out here:
This is a great example of taking control of one’s mistake. It was an honest response, and in addition to that, the same medium was used to address the issue. The VP didn’t go on Facebook to apologize; he used YouTube, where the video originated. Using the same channels as your consumers is key if you want them to talk well of you!
This toolbox seems lacking without the mammoth presence of Facebook. Liking, sharing, posting updating- Facebook is the king of WOM marketing. And there is some great news in store for you. It is possible to have all of the above mention WOM tools on your Facebook page that can increase your buzz and word of mouse marketing. To name a few WOM apps there is a YouTube app, Testimonial app, and Twitter app. For a full listing, check out your selection of powerful apps.
Enjoy your campaign into WOM, keep us posted if there is anything we can do to help, or if you have a cool WOM idea for an app, let us know!
Until next time,