Word of mouth recommendations give your brand a level of credibility that’s hard to imitate. When it comes down to it, customers trust other customers.
To generate authentic word of mouth, you first need customers to feel comfortable endorsing you. This requires taking a customer-centric approach towards giving them a voice. Here’s what to do:
1) Ask customers about being customers
The most authentic word of mouth doesn’t focus on the product; it focuses on what people do with it. How does it make customers’ lives better? How does your product (or service) help them pursue their passions? How does it make them feel?
Devote time and resources to find out. These are the stories you need to share and the conversations you need to start. Once you tap into peoples’ passions, getting them to talk is easy!
2) Create shared experiences
When people experience something as part of a group, that experience takes on a life of its own. Each person adds their own point of view until the story becomes something bigger than the individuals themselves. Creating these kinds of shared experiences is ideal for fostering word of mouth.
Create brand ambassador programs, special events and online group experiences that encourage customers to come together and talk about their passions and your business’s role in them.
3) Be customer-centric with content
People share information about brands that relate to or reflect on them personally. This is especially true on social media, where people often share only a “highlights reel” of their lives.
To get your business into these conversations, share content people will feel comfortable sharing with their social circles. To find the right content types and themes, engage with your customers regularly to see what they talk about and share. Meanwhile, pay attention to your social media analytics to see what resonates.
Being customer-centric is the crucial first step in word of mouth marketing campaigns, whether online or offline. When you learn to think like your customers, you’ll understand how to encourage them to speak out on your behalf.
Ninety percent of word of mouth happens offline, but you can still influence it with social media. Join Spike Jones’s Vocus webinar on September 25 to energize your fans, create brand evangelists and turbocharge your word of mouth! Register here.