Word of Mouth has always been an effective form of marketing because people trust the opinions of people they trust. All word of mouth marketing is based on two-way, transparent communications. Many marketers are not always willing to wait on organic word of mouth, so to systematically leverage and encourage word of mouth, take the following steps:
- Raise customer awareness about products and services
- Educate customers about your products and services
- Identify opinion leaders
- Facilitate the information sharing
- Study the opinions being shared
- Respond to feedback (positive, negative and neutral)
Social media has changed the rules of the game, primarily because of online scalability. In a world where 90 percent of people trust consumer recommendations from known people, (Source: Neilson Global Trust in Advertising Survey, 2009) social media is taking on greater importance. It is the easiest method for recommendations to spread and an essential part of an integrated marketing program.
However, there is one problem. Companies often believe that by simply participating in social media, they’re meeting customer needs. Nothing could be further from the truth, participating in social media means having a different purpose for each social media outlet. Consider these descriptions:
- YouTube captures the imagination
- Twitter jumpstarts the conversation
- Facebook facilitates in-depth conversations
- Blogs share knowledge
Tell us if you have any success leveraging social media to promote word of mouth, and how you have been able to leverage the combination of social media and word of mouth into achieving business goals.