Word of mouth marketing (WOM/WOMM) has been around since forever. Every truly great marketing platform, campaign, and idea have been centered on this idea of getting your customers to talk about you. Think of reviews, advertising, PR and nowadays social media-is there really any difference between them when it comes down to it?
The promise of marketing and PR campaigns, no matter what platform, is to get people talking, and hopefully spreading something good about your brand. WOM marketing might be a little different these days, sometimes it’s typed rather than spoken but non-the-less it can have the same effect.
So what can marketers and PR pros take from WOM marketing and apply to these newer platforms?
1. Encourage Communication
We now have ways to directly influence and encourage communication with loyal followers and consumers. There are so many more places people can talk about your brand and so many different reasons to give them.
Whether it’s using Instagram stories to document a charity event you are putting on, it’s encouraging them to write reviews on Yelp or directly on your website with some type of incentive, or sending them a coupon through your email newsletter.Technology and new forms of social platforms can give you limitless ways to “seed” a message into your consumer network so they engage in WOM marketing.
The best part of WOM marketing today is that you have more control of the conversation. You can use so many different platforms to create your story and give followers a great narrative to share.
Just remember as a brand, you determine what type of communication you are going to have with your consumers. You know what type of product you are putting out there and the service you expect from employees. Make sure that part it nailed down before you take on anything else!
2. Talk Back
If you are starting these conversations than you have to be a part of these conversations! We understand, hearing from your fans and followers is both a gift and a curse but if you learn how to do it correctly it can be a huge part of WOMM.
You can’t just post and tweet and talk about yourself on social! I know it might be hard to believe but social isn’t all about you and when you use it to have a two-way conversation with your fans you not only give them something to talk about but other people see that as well.
Whether you are using social to answer questions, resolve problems, share your fans images (of course giving them credit)- it can not only impact WOM but also your results on social. Look at brands who are doing social best, they have the highest follower counts, engagement numbers, comments/replies, these are the ones who are responding to their followers on social.
As a brand, you have to come up with your own policies and procedures around social but it can be a great way to share content, connect with consumers and most importantly get the conversation going about you!! If your followers are tweeting, tagging and posting about you at least they aren’t talking about your competition…
3. Get Them Involved
One of the biggest components of a good WOMM campaign is creating experiences that are worthy of being passed from person-to-person.
What experiences can you create to get people talking?
Is there a contest you could run where people pick you brand’s next flavor? Product name? Shoe design?
Could you show up at the doorsteps of your most loyal social followers with some free swag and film their reactions?
Would you donate all sales that happen on your anniversary to a charity?
There are so many different things you can do and then so many different platforms you can use to get the word out and help create those WOM moments. These are effective and meaningful ways to create some natural conversation around your brand and maybe even get some free publicity out of. All you do is have to give people a reason to get involved!
Wrap It Up
Word of mouth marketing is a powerful way to impact campaign results over a multitude of platforms. It has influenced how we market in almost every single way, we all know how powerful a recommendation, or nowadays a share can be. Make sure at the root of every campaign you are thinking about WOMM and how that can drive some real business results!