In high school, a rumor could make out break your reputation. As much as high school can be a fodder for great movies like Heathers it is also a precursor to the business world. Your reputation is everything. A dissatisfied customer can spread untruths about your business and a satisfied customer can make you the prom queen or king. WOM stands for word of mouth marketing. In essence, this is what people say about your business to others when the conversation has not been started by you. WOM is the original social media platform. Think of how many times you heard from a colleague or friend mention that a restaurant or bar is great and you patronized it. You heard the advertising through praise and decided to experience it for yourself. This is the purest form of marketing.
All marketing is centered on connecting. However, with the competition on social media platforms, it has turned into collecting “fans” that might not have any real interest in the brand or its offerings. It is quite a temptation to accrue as many numbers as possible. This can actually backfire as real fans of your product/service will happily talk about it as long as they feel they have gotten to the party first. Real fans will start the conversations and even in some cases, take care of your problems. For example, if there is an envelope company that is having a shipping issue or a computer glitch, real fans will band together to help/listen those on outlets such as Facebook or Twitter and make suggestions. Real fans create a community amongst themselves.
You want a community to surround your product/service. The best way is to let it happen organically. However, there are a few ways to speed up the process:
- Respond to your followers.
Be a part of the conversation. Let the conversation center on your brand.
- Know your customer base.
If you understand your clients’ pain points and what gets them excited, then you can deeply engage them.
- Value their input.
Let your customers name a new product or suggest a new menu item.
Get the conversation started and make it look as natural as possible for the most effective wom for your brand.