Word-of-mouth marketing is the oldest and one of the most effective forms of marketing. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over other forms of marketing. It’s been a very powerful tool even before the idea of marketing actually existed. With the rise of technology, people can now share their experiences in more ways they couldn’t before, such as social media.
Social media is essentially digital word-of-mouth. People share their experiences on Twitter or Facebook by liking or following business’ social media profiles and even giving reviews on social media. This is why brands must pay attention to word-of-mouth marketing online. It’s a powerful tool which, if mastered well, can produce incredible results for your business.
Exceptional is when you go beyond your customer’s expectations. Your product is a great way to start, but it’s already an established fact that you need to provide incredible products that cater to your customers well. What can really make a brand exceptional is its customer service. Your customers are more likely to talk about your brand and make a buzz when they feel highly valued. Even the small things matter when it comes to providing exceptional customer service. For example, Cosmopolitan Hotel in Hong Kong provides their family guests with a box of toys if they have children with them. This is probably one of the most talked about feature of Cosmopolitan Hotel which really makes them stand out, especially because Hong Kong is a common choice for family trips in Asia. Keep your customers extremely satisfied and give them experiences that go beyond their expectations and it will encourage them to share.
Create a Personal Connection With Your Customers
People often talk about brands or share content which they can relate with. This may be through a good founding story or even through an entertaining content. The key here is to understand what can make your customers relate well with your brand. A great example would be Nike’s “Better For It” campaign. Other than being very entertaining, the scenarios in this video were very relatable to a number of Nike’s market and created a big buzz on social media.
Having a personal connection with your customers also means engaging with them. With social media, customers have higher expectations about feedback and conversation. If they send you a message or a Tweet, they expect you to respond. Make sure that you engage in conversations on social and respond to your customers as this transcends to having good customer service. Others will be able to see your public conversations and will see how you, as a brand, care for your customers, encouraging them to try out your products as well.
Make it Easy For Customers to Share Their Stories
Even if your customers are having positive experiences with your brand, they don’t always have the free time to share their stories online. You can, however, facilitate and encourage them to share. For example, you can send a thank-you email or page after an online purchase, and encourage them to share to their friends. You can place social sharing icons that have pre-populated text mentioning the purchased product. Be present in various review sites such as Yelp or Google Places and ask for customer reviews. These are also helpful since they reward users who review often.
Remember that your customers love being valued. So it also helps when you give them attention as a thank-you for providing feedback. You can do this by featuring their testimonials or acknowledging them with status, such as ‘customer of the week’.
It’s not enough to have more than 100,000 likes on your Facebook page. A hundred passionate customers who care about your brand will always be more powerful than numbers. Remember that word-of-mouth is an effective marketing tool and the best way to do this is to truly understand your customers and treat them like gold.