Continuing on in my exploration of the fascinating world of social media marketing, we are going to kick things up a notch and delve into the concept of energizing the groundswell.
As you may know, word-of-mouth in the marketing world is everything. Without it, your marketing campaign will fail its number one goal: expand your market reach to every potential customer. People always are asking friends, family and acquaintances for their opinions on everything; from hair-products to food to movies and more. In the groundswell age, this is no different, but unlike in the past this word of mouth feedback is easier for customers to access than ever before. People are generally most loyal to the brands/products/services that they have had positive experiences with and in turn share these experiences with others online via social media and product reviews. When looking at harnessing the power of your customer’s word of mouth, don’t just listen and or talk. No, instead you want to energize their positive experiences and turn their word of mouth into a buzz for your company to build upon.
Why Word of Mouth Succeeds
Before we even get into the techniques used for energizing your most loyal customers, you must first understand why word of mouth is such a powerful form of brand marketing and why it succeeds. This may feel like a review of Marketing 101, but it serves to further the understanding as to why people look for feedback from others to justify their potential purchase of a product or service. Word of mouth succeeds because:
It is believable: Put yourself in a customers shoes. Would you trust information on a product from the company; where their goal is to profit from the sale of the product. Probably not, but if you got positive feedback from someone you know or see a pattern of positive feedback/reviews online you’d be more inclined to make the purchase of the said product. Your customers will be no different. They’ll be more likely to trust other people’s opinions on a product than the information from a company because it is more genuine in nature.
Its Self-Reinforcing: Hearing positive information from one person, and you may think of it as a one-off occurrence. Hearing it from a larger group of people and you may now thing it as a buzz of positivity surrounding a product. In turn you may be intrigued into what is causing the “buzz” surrounding a brand and buy into the brand by purchasing a product.
It’s Self Spreading: Word of mouth spreads fast, like wild-fire thus sustaining the buzz of a brand and reaching beyond what you may have considered as your target market.
Now that you understand why word of mouth is so successful it is now time to delve directly into the techniques you can use to energize the groundswell surrounding your company.
Remember though, these techniques will work best if your company first masters word of mouth marketing.
- Tap into Customers Enthusiasm with Ratings and Reviews
Remember customers love to gab to others their experiences and share their enthusiasm of a product or a service. If your company’s website or social media platform allows for it, setup a way for customers to leave reviews and ratings for your products or services. These reviews will help potential customers to make a purchasing decision and can also be used to gather valuable insight into where your company can improve. Remember to listen to these reviews as it is free feedback from your company’s most important people; your customers.
The best example for customer’s reviews would be that of online retail giant Amazon. Have a look at these reviews for a example for how to implement reviews on your own website.
- Create a Community
Simply create a community for your customers to interact with each other in. The creation of a online community will work best if you have customers that are truly passionate about your products and understand that they can be a part of something bigger. Passionate people will create a natural buzz for others to be intrigued by.
When I think of a successful brand online community I think of LEGO Groups.
- Participate in and Energize Online Communities of Your Brand’s Enthusiasts
Engage with your customers in the online world. Energize your brand’s enthusiasts and create a buzz surrounding the brand with these enthusiasts. Listening to and acknowledging these enthusiasts will go a long way to creating a positive buzz surrounding your company.
When you decide to engage, and energize your online presence keep in mind that “how you energize your community and consumers all depends on the relationships that a company wants to build and/or change” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, p. 147).
For a further understanding of the power that can come from the Energization of the Groundswell for your company please watch the video below.
Now I’ll leave you with a energizing song from the land down under.
If that didn’t energize you to energize your company’s social media presence, then I don’t know what will.
Until next week, au-revoir.