Mar 17, 2015 / by Erin Feldman

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) isn’t necessarily the marketing team’s or community manager’s task. WOMM can be a company-wide activity. In fact, it probably should be.

Your employees are more similar to consumers than the CEO or CMO. That makes them more credible, according to Edelman. When they talk about company culture or products, consumers are more likely to listen and be influenced by the conversation.

Influence is one benefit of activating employees on social. What are others?

1. Influencing behavior and action

According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), 26 percent of the U.S. population influences the purchasing activities of the other 74 percent. Who are the 26 percent at your company? Edelman would say it’s academics, industry experts and technical experts.

They aren’t the only resources. H&R Block taps into its entire workforce during tax season. Consumers have tax questions. There’s no way H&R can answer them all without leveraging its employees.

Employees are given the content and resources needed to answer questions, then they’re set loose on social. When they see a tax question in the news feeds, they respond, forming an instant bond based on helpfulness and trust.

Does that interaction shape consumer behavior? Of course. As April 15 looms closer, consumers think of H&R Block before one of the “other guys.”

Want a complete guide to word-of-mouth marketing? Get our free white paper now!

2. Growing revenue

Influencing consumers’ minds and hearts leads to action. Because your employee answered a consumer’s question about French press coffee or the latest bestseller on Twitter, they want to buy from you. They’ll buy from you even if the price is slightly higher.

They’ve had a good experience with your brand, and that makes a difference. They would rather pay more and know they’re supporting a company that cares about them than pay less and support a chain.

Bookstores understand the power found in authentic interactions and engagement. They drive word-of-mouth (WOM) with events and activities. Their employees talk about those things online and generate awareness and interest. They also answer questions about the best books for tweens and early readers.

The conversations drive people to the store. Because they’ve enjoyed the online experience as well as the offline book signings and children’s readings, they purchase from the bookstore rather than an online warehouse.

3. Increased satisfaction and loyalty

When consumers can put a face with a company, they’re more likely to be satisfied with and loyal to that company. They have a friend who knows them. If they have a problem with a product, they can turn to that person.

The employee may not have a solution at the ready, but they can offer immediate assistance. They issue a support ticket internally. They provide context for the ticket, allowing for more personalized assistance. The end result is a “happy moment,” to quote Southwest Airlines. Those moments are often broadcast online, which grows influence and reach yet again.

If you want a virtuous cycle of sales, tap into your workforce. They’ll grow awareness, leads and loyalty.

Want an army of brand advocates? Watch Peter Shankman’s free on-demand webinar now!

Most Recent Posts

Cision Blogs Topics

  • Communications Best Practices

    Get the latest updates on PR, communications and marketing best practices.

  • Cision Product News

    Keep up with everything Cision. Check here for the most current product news.

  • Executive Insights

    Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.

  • Media Blog

    A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.

About Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media. When she isn’t researching, writing, and editing blog posts and white papers, she writes poetry and essays, draws her favorite Write Right character, and plans what art form to study next. She’s based in Austin, Texas and can be found on Twitter @erinmfeldman.