Word-of-mouth marketing remains a powerful force in encouraging sales for your business, but the rules of the game have changed now that social media is such a big component of the referral scene. According to RetailWire, 71 percent of consumers say that they are more likely to purchase a product that has been recommended on social media.
Real people are more likely to drive interest in a product or service than a brand insisting on its own greatness, so businesses should respond in turn by making their products, services and marketing techniques highly “share-able.” When you optimize your offerings to hit all the right notes, people are much more likely to share their experiences, encouraging others to think more highly of your brand and give you business.
Start working on generating more positive word-of-mouth social media referrals the way a pro social media management company would by taking the following four pointers to heart:
Start by Improving Your Customer Service
Before worrying about generating positive sentiments through social media, first recognize the serious danger of the opposite scenario: people trashing your brand online.
Negativity and outrage fuel more shares than positive emotions online, so the last thing you will want to do is give someone an excuse to make your brand the latest pariah. As a recent example, consider how much negative publicity Cracker Barrel garnered after letting an employee go without a clear explanation.
So start your social media off on the right foot by making sure your customers can enjoy a positive experience! Instruct all customer-facing employees on how to be friendly and personable, such as asking people questions about their day or their experience. Offer surprise and delight moments, like free add-ons, unexpected discounts or just a personal touch like a handwritten note.
By exceeding expectations, you set a high standard for your employees while increasing the odds that any mistakes or misunderstandings will be balanced out by positive experiences.
Target Your Most Likely Influencers
“Influencer marketing” is all the rage these days, but you don’t have to find someone with a million followers on YouTube or Instagram to tap into the power of those with huge online influence. Instead, you can study your current and potential audiences to find people with these two qualities:
- They are very expressive in their consumer-oriented opinions, especially positive ones
- They have “clout” that makes people listen to and respect their opinions, such as having good artistic “taste,” intelligent-sounding judgements or an authoritative position
You can identify these demographics and determine ways to get them to respond to your brand and evangelize its merits.
For instance, a lawn care company may have only a small fraction of vet offices and non-profits as clients, but if they target businesses like these with specials and discounts, they can generate positive online word-of-mouth from businesses with high visibility and influencer potential.
Make Your Brand “Shareable”
One of the easiest ways to get more referrals from online buzz is to offer content, goods or services that people are likely to react to. As a solid example, consider Arby’s Facebook page, which has dramatically increased its social media shares by using art styles and pop culture references that already have a large fanbase on social media.
You can also encourage customers to post selfies with your products through things like promotions and photo-ops, like having a silly cutout in front of your shop for people to stop and take photos, earning them a discount.
Get Professional Guidance From a Social Media Management Company
You cannot be expected to be an expert on your business, on maintaining a good online reputation and on generating positive word-of-mouth all at the same time. Instead, more and more brands are looking to a social media management company to help them generate more business online without dedicating too much time or too many resources.
Start reinventing your online presence and getting more positive referrals by looking to the social media management services at Standard Marketing today.