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Influence of Word-of-Mouth 

Happy group of friends checking smart phones at home

How does Word-of-Mouth Help Businesses?

Word of mouth marketing has been around since the beginning of time. From commercials that highlight an individual who shares a new product with two of their closest friends, who in turn share the product with two of their friends, and so on and so on. Before commercials, it was neighbors and friends sharing products and services by going door to door. 

As you can see, word-of-mouth has been around for a very long time, but what exactly is it and why is it important? In a nutshell, word-of-mouth is the passing of information from one person to another via oral communication. Based on this simple definition, storytelling, or communicating the time of day all qualify as word of mouth communication. In businesses, word of mouth is often referred to as a type of marketing strategy where products and services are shared by customers talking about their experience with others either in person or online through social media and reviews. 

Why is the sharing of information by word-of-mouth so important to businesses, consumers, and people in general? When we hear about a new product or a service from someone we know, i.e., a friend or family member we perceive it to be credible and worth investing our time or resources into. It is this idea of being credible and trustworthy that appeals to many brands who encourage and devote marketing resources to encourage word of mouth marketing from their customers by giving incentives such as coupons and discounts in return. 

Although word-of-mouth applies to nearly any form of verbal communication and comes from a variety of different sources, we are going to focus primarily on word-of-mouth marketing for this article. We will discuss in greater detail what word of mouth is, different types of word of mouth marketing, why word of mouth marketing is important, how effective word of mouth is, and different ways in which you can improve your word of mouth marketing. 

What is Word-of-Mouth Marketing? 

Have you ever had a good experience that you’ve wanted to share with everyone you know so that they too can have the same experience? What about a bad experience that you’ve also shared to prevent others from experiencing? Both good and bad experiences that you share with others are known as word-of-mouth. In the same way that you share experiences you’ve had with others, businesses do the same and encourage their customers to share as an integral part of their word-of-mouth marketing campaign.

We’ve all experienced word-of-mouth marketing ourselves, which is why many experts believe that it is the most effective form of marketing available. Once you’ve learned how valuable and how prevalent word-of-mouth marketing is, you’ll see how it affects you in your personal life as well as your professional life. The hope is that by understanding how word of mouth marketing works and how it is used, you’ll be able to make better-informed decisions and be able to help others make informed decisions as well. Even though we’ve all experienced and participated in word of mouth ourselves, there are still many ways in which we can improve our strategy and become more efficient. 

Another way to look at word-of-mouth marketing is to think of it as the actions taken by a business to motivate others (customers, potential customers, or paid partnerships), to positively, and spontaneously talk about their products, services, or brand. Additionally, word-of-mouth marketing also includes those who are talking about their experience and recommending your goods or services to others to entice others to conduct business with you. 

Now, you might be wondering why businesses care so much about word-of-mouth marketing and why they should invest in implementing a strategy. Simply put, when consumers have a negative experience they are going to share it with everyone they know; whereas a positive experience is less likely to be shared. Although a negative word-of-mouth experience may be shared more often, positive experiences have a profound impact on influencing others. This is because as consumers, we naturally trust those we know when they refer us to a brand or service that they have had a positive experience with. 

What is Positive Word-of-Mouth? 

Positive word-of-mouth is when information highlighting your strengths is passed from current customers to potential customers. Because positive word of mouth relies on positive experiences being passed from one person to another, you must provide current customers with a positive experience that they’ll want to share with others. 

Here are a few different things that you can do to ensure that you continue to receive positive word-of-mouth.  

  • Provide Good Customer Service

Good customer service is essential when building a brand and conducting business. Whether you are providing a service or making a sale, customer service needs to be a top priority. The quality of customer service that you provide is how you can compete with your competitors, large and small. Ensuring that all customers that you interact with have a good experience is crucial, as a negative experience will get passed around faster and farther than a positive experience. 

When you ensure that all customers have a positive experience, you are showing that they are important to you, you value their business, and treat them with respect. When you encounter complaints, listen to their grievances, learn from previous experiences, train your employees accordingly on how to handle these situations moving forward. When you strive to provide quality customer service, you’ll receive positive word-of-mouth in return. 

  • Make it Easy for Customers to Contact You 

There are few things more frustrating for potential customers than not being able to get a hold of someone at your business. If you are not accessible for customers, to answer questions or provide services, customers are more likely to take their business elsewhere.

Being easily contacted extends beyond phone calls, websites that don’t provide updated hours of operations, or easily accessible contact information. If people have to search for this information, chances are they aren’t going to take the time to do so and will take their business elsewhere. Being accessible is a contributing factor in achieving positive word-of-mouth. Answer all emails promptly, set up call forwarding and voicemail for when you are out of the office, and keep your website updated with current contact information. When you are easily accessible, you are encouraging business and cultivating positive word-of-mouth, instead of discouraging it. 

  • Maintain a Positive Image

Your image is important, even when you are off the clock and out of the office. A lot of businesses have company vehicles that have the company name and logo displayed on the sides, which means that you need to be conscious of how you are driving and what you are doing when in a company vehicle. When you are a jerk and cut people off in a company vehicle, or are rude wearing clothing with a company logo, those who witnessed the incident will share it with everyone they know, resulting in a negative image. 

The same goes for your interactions within the office, treat every customer who enters your establishment with respect. If your business has a dress code, dress accordingly, and hold all employees to the same standard. This will demonstrate that you take your business seriously and that you take pride in yourself and the work that you provide to others. Your personal image also applies to your interactions online, whether that be your company’s social media site, your personal page, or your company website. What you say and do online can have either a positive or negative impact on your image. 

Positive word-of-mouth is directly related to your image, if your vehicle or office is a disaster or you are rude and disrespectful to everyone you interact with, your word-of-mouth and image will suffer. The exact opposite is true as well, when you look and act professionally, your image and word of mouth will be a direct reflection. A potential customer is more inclined to conduct business with those who are respectful, courteous, and professional, with a positive image (in-person and online), than those who are not. 

The bottom line is you never know who is watching you at any given moment, which is why when you are doing anything on behalf of your company or while sporting your company logo, you need to be conscious of what you are doing and how it can affect your perceived image and ultimately your business. 

  • Maintain a Clean Work Environment–Including Online

Similar to maintaining a positive image is to also keep and maintain a clean work environment, both in-office and online. Have you ever heard a horror story about a local store or restaurant that made your stomach churn, resulting in you never going near that business again? It is these stories of unclean businesses that turn customers away, and result in negative word-of-mouth. 

Don’t be mistaken, good word-of-mouth also travels, especially when customers find that your establishment is clean and organized, restrooms are well-stocked, and employees are friendly and helpful. The best way to encourage positive word-of-mouth to be passed from customers to customers is to think about what makes up a positive customer experience and work hard to achieve all elements that you’ve thought of. 

Don’t forget your website when you are thinking about what makes a good customer experience. Be sure to have a website that is easy to navigate, organized, and information can be found easily. Consider compiling a FAQs section to answer some of the most commonly asked questions to anticipate what new customers might need to know or want to ask about when browsing through your website. 

  • Display Testimonials 

One of the best ways in which you can share a positive word-of-mouth experience with future customers is through testimonials from previous customers. Testimonials from previous customers that highlight the positive experience that they had with your business are powerful! They not only showcase a real-life example, but they also give validity to your positive word-of-mouth that is shared. 

There are different ways in which you can get testimonials from customers, the first is to simply ask for a testimonial or a review of your business or services rendered. Another way to get testimonials is to run contests, offering free products or a discount to those who leave a positive review on your website, or social media sites. Regardless of your strategy for getting reviews and testimonials, it is going to be critical that you make it easy for customers to leave their testimonials. 

Once you have received a testimonial, you must utilize the testimony to the fullest extent possible. Share positive testimonials on your website, social media sites, advertising campaigns, and anywhere else that they can be seen by the public to assist in building a positive image of your business.  

  • Engage with Followers on Social Media

The foundation of word-of-mouth is having people say good things about your business either online or to other people they know. One of the easiest ways to encourage positive word-of-mouth interactions is through social media. If you continue to tell everyone how amazing your company is, or all about the great products and services you offer, it does absolutely nothing for your word-of-mouth marketing. Instead, you need to develop a plan that encourages others to talk about your business and share it with others. 

With a social media plan in place that encourages positive reviews and testimonials of your company, be sure to include engaging with customers as well. Be sure to like and share any positive word-of-mouth experiences that you receive, so that others can see and hear about positive experiences experienced by others. Additionally, when you have an active online presence, interacting and engaging with other users, your followers and others will see this as a positive aspect and will want to learn more about you and your business. 

  • Monitor Your Online Reputation 

Nowadays, so many conversations regarding your business and brand are happening online through social media and other sites, that you must be aware of what is being said about your business. Paying attention to what is being said is as simple as searching the various social media sites for your company or brand name, to see what is being said. There are also third-party monitoring tools you can use to help monitor what is being said about your brand online. 

It is important that you don’t ignore any negative comments or posts about your brand, instead address them and try to correct any grievances that are expressed. Once the grievance has been rectified, it is a good idea to ask the original poster to change or remove their initial post to a more positive one. 

Because so many people go to social media sites to do their research on new companies and brands, you must maintain a positive online reputation and strive to improve your reputation. Along with striving to have a positive reputation, it is equally important that your reputation be an accurate representation of how your business runs; don’t remove negative comments and post without addressing them if they are valid. Negative posts that are unwarranted and untruthful, should be addressed by asking the original poster to remove or update their post to reflect an accurate representation of your business.

  • Give Back to Your Community  

Finally, another great way to earn positive word-of-mouth exposure is by giving back to your community and supporting local teams and organizations. Doing good for your community can only result in good things for you and your business. When you take an active role in your community by getting involved, sitting on your local hospital or school board, community organizations, and demonstrate your support either through monetary donations or service hours, others will begin to take notice. 

A lot of large, national chains and brands will often donate a percentage of their profits to various charitable organizations as a way to improve their reputation. People will often view businesses and brands that give back positively and be more inclined to support them in their charitable efforts by conducting business with them. Not only do you feel good about doing something good and positive for your community, but you’ll often get rewarded for it by receiving positive feedback and word-of-mouth. So, next time you get asked to make a donation to a local group in your community, consider how your business can benefit from your generosity. 

What percent of Word-of-Mouth is Online?

With so much emphasis being placed on your online presence, by building a brand and gaining new followers, it is easy to assume that a majority of your word-of-mouth marketing also comes from your online followers. How much of your word-of-mouth marketing actually comes from online and how much comes from in-person experiences?  

Despite the advances in technology and the move to online shopping, connecting, and building a brand, especially when it comes to social media, word-of-mouth marketing has been slower to make the transition. Many studies suggest that the majority of discussions regarding products, brands, and services are shared in person and not online. 

Although most people have continued to share their experiences offline, you shouldn’t discredit the importance of online marketing. There are a few different things in which you can and should be doing to encourage word-of-mouth marketing to drive your online presence, sales, and marketing strategy.

  • Drive Real-World Conversation 

While many conversations regarding word-of-mouth happen offline, it is still important that you create conversations that drive people to talk about your brand, service, or products offline. Oftentimes these conversations that are sparked from something that is seen online will drive traffic back online. This is because studies have found that more and more people are inclined to make an online purchase after having a positive offline word-of-mouth interaction with someone they know and trust.

When you begin to realize how what you are saying and doing online results in offline conversations, you’ll learn just how valuable your online presence really is. Additionally, you’ll learn that the conversations that are being had offline concerning your businesses are substantially more important than the conversations being had online, as they often drive up sales and result in more offline conversations promoting positive word-of-mouth marketing that you don’t have to pay for. 

  • Know-How Your Products/Services Measure Up

How likely are customers or clients to talk about your services in their day-to-day conversations offline? Are your products and services one that is needed often? The most talked-about brands, according to recent reports indicate that food and dining are often talked about the most, whereas travel is often ranked towards the bottom of the list. In the middle, you can often find media and entertainment, beverages, shopping, and retail apparel. 

Knowing where exactly your products or services fall on the spectrum, can help you make marketing decisions online to promote conversations offline. Another great way to compare, is to see how your direct competition is doing, are there parts of their online marketing strategy that seem to be working well for them that you can adopt into your own plan? Knowing how you compare is important information to help you be successful when working to improve your word-of-mouth marketing. 

How do you Spread Word-of-Mouth?

Word-of-mouth marketing that is passed from person to person and not done online has not only been around for years, but it is also a very important part of your marketing plan that needs to be implemented. While there are different ways in which word-of-mouth can be passed, including online using social media and review sites, such as, Angie’s List and Yelp, in-person word-of-mouth is still the most common and the most powerful form of word-of-mouth marketing available. 

What makes word-of-mouth marketing so easy to use and so popular, is that it is easy to do and doesn’t cost you anything. Imagine a world where your customers are doing all of your marketing work for you, all you have to do is provide a positive experience that they want to share with others so that they too may have a similar experience.  

In recent history, word-of-mouth was strictly done by word-of-mouth. One person would have a positive experience, which they would then turn around and share with another person, and so on and so on. Nowadays, this type of word-of-mouth still happens but it also happens online as well via social media, online reviews, customer testimonials, blog posts, brand mentions, and messages.

The ways in which you get and spread word-of-mouth are similar to how you receive positive word-of-mouth as discussed in detail earlier. There are a few different things you can do to pass positive word-of-mouth that we’ll discuss in detail here: 

  • Stand Out from Your Competition 

Every day people are having experiences everywhere they go, at the grocery store, hair salon, mechanics, restaurants, etc. With all of these different experiences that they are having, they are looking for a business that will stand out, blow them away with their customer service, pricing, professionalism, and any other way possible. 

If you are willing to go the extra mile and provide a customer experience that is unlike any other experience, it will pay off. It is the little things that take an average experience and propel it into an exceptional experience that leaves customers wanting to talk about their experience and share it with others. 

Don’t underestimate the small touches that can make the biggest difference. Do you greet everyone who comes in with a smile and a friendly greeting? What about sending a hand-written thank you note for those who place an online order with your company? It is these small touches that you might think much of that can make a big difference and encourage happy customers to recommend your business to their friends and family.

  • Provide Incentives to Get Customers Talking 

Oftentimes when you provide an incentive, customers are more inclined to take action. This can include providing a discount code for a future purchase, store credit, gift cards, or even swag sporting your business’s logo. All of these incentives will require that you sacrifice and invest time and money, but the return on your investment will be well worth it. It is these positive word-of-mouth reviews and testimonials that incentivize new customers to come in and conduct business with you, as testimonials coming from someone they know and trust, are deemed more trustworthy and reliable. 

  • Ask for Reviews and Testimonials 

You can provide the most amazing customer experience out there, exceeding all expectations, and still not get positive reviews. Why? Because if you don’t ask or encourage customers to spread positive word-of-mouth regarding your business, services, or brand, it’s not going to matter how good of an experience you provide. 

After providing a great experience, don’t be afraid to ask for a review or a testimonial from a happy customer. By simply asking, you can be setting yourself up for success and more business, and you didn’t have to increase your marketing budget to do so. The worst that can happen when you ask for a review is for someone to say “no”, but don’t let that stop you from asking the next customer.  

Different Types of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Now that you know more about word-of-mouth marketing, what it is and how to spread word-of-mouth and what you should be doing to receive positive feedback, it is time to dive deep into the different types of word-of-mouth marketing that exist. With the move to online and technology being one of the primary sources for information, there has also been a shift in the different ways in which word-of-mouth marketing happens. 

Different strategies yield different results depending on what you are trying to achieve. Knowing what your end goal is, will help in determining what type of marketing strategy you should implement now or in the future. These different methods rely on word-of-mouth to be successful, which is why it is important to know and understand how these different marketing methods work.  

Influencer Marketing

Thanks to social media and social media influencers, influencer marketing has grown exponentially and is continuing to grow. This particular kind of marketing allows you to have the most control over what is being said about your business or organization. You have this control because you are paying a social media influencer or multiple influencers to feature your products or services on their social media site to their followers. 

Because you are paying for them for their recommendation and promotion, you have some control over what they say and post regarding your business. Oftentimes these paid promotions start great conversations, which can and often do lead to sales. The more you can get influencers to talk about your products the more word-of-mouth exposure you’ll gain. 

One of the downsides to influencer marketing is that the conversations and the word-of-mouth exposure are not organic, they are bought and paid for. Influencers disclose that they are being paid to promote a product, therefore, those who see their recommendation for your products or services, know that they are being compensated for their time and that the review/recommendation is not necessarily authentic. 

Influencer word-of-mouth is great for exposure and gaining new business, which can lead to organic and genuine reviews and word-of-mouth from new customers. While influencer marketing can lead to a lot of new customers and sales, it can be an expensive way to get positive word of mouth spread from one positive customer to another positive customer.   

Blog Marketing 

Compared to other types of online word-of-mouth marketing, blog marketing has been around for a while. When blogs first started in the 1990s, they were considered to be an online diary of sorts, where the owner of the blog would document and record personal accounts of their lives. Since the beginning, blogs have evolved to include a wide range of topics and industries. 

When blogs first started, it quickly became apparent that they could be used as an effective marketing tool, and another way to spread word-of-mouth. Instead of being separate from a companies website, blogs have since been integrated, making it easier to update customers with new information, promotions, products, and posting positive reviews. 

 Blog marketing has many perks including sharing positive word-of-mouth experiences for your audience to see. Other positive aspects of blog marketing include building and encouraging website traffic, improving search engine ranking, easy to use and update, inexpensive, and is a great way to engage your market and start conversations. It is these conversations that you are starting in your blog that often lead to positive word-of-mouth to be shared. Encourage comments where your audience can comment about a positive experience they had, or rave about a product that they purchased from your business for others to see. It is these positive reviews and comments that encourage and influence others to make a similar purchase so that they too can have a positive experience. Don’t underestimate the importance of blog marketing when it comes to developing your word-of-mouth marketing plan as you have the ability to control the conversation and invite reviews and feedback from customers that can influence future customers.    

Social Media Marketing 

Social media marketing is one of the easiest, most common, and most widely used forms of word-of-mouth marketing used today. With it being so popular and common, do you know what exactly social media marketing is? Social media marketing is the use of social media as a means to interact and engage with an online audience to increase sales, build a brand, and drive traffic to your website or physical location to make a purchase. 

Social media is great as it is one of the primary tools used to connect directly, and almost immediately to your audience. It is through this stream of contact that you have with them, that you are then able to ask directly for positive reviews of your business or services, along with proudly displaying these reviews and testimonials for others to see.  

One of the reasons that social media marketing is so popular and so successful is that it utilizes hashtags to encourage and promote conversations. Although hashtags don’t necessarily translate into sales, they do help to build strong brand awareness and exposure through positive word-of-mouth. When a hashtag is the same as your brand name, hashtags help to build a positive association of your brand and business for all those who use and see your branded hashtag. 

Hashtags can be used in a variety of different ways, one of the most common is to create a specific hashtag that incentives reviews, testimonials, and positive feedback. Through the use of a specific hashtag that is then shared and passed around social media, you are gaining exposure through online word-of-mouth. Specific hashtags allow for you to control the conversation, promote sales, and offer discounts and promotions, instead of relying on general hashtags that everyone uses in their daily social media conversations. 

Social media can play a critical role in achieving a positive word-of-mouth marketing campaign because social media is so popular and widely used among a vast array of age groups with varying interests. To be successful with your word-of-mouth campaign, you will need to take time to develop an online social media campaign that encourages word-of-mouth conversations. 

Why is Word-of-Mouth Important? 

Regardless of your brand, industry, business, or services offered, word-of-mouth is a critical marketing tool. Word-of-mouth is important for every business because of the source where the information is coming from, i.e., our friends, family, neighbors, and those whom we know and trust already. Because we already know the trust the source from where the information is coming from, we are most inclined to follow their recommendation because we know they are trustworthy and aren’t going to recommend something they haven’t personally used or experienced. These types of experiences and recommendations, can not be bought and paid for, they are genuine and authentic. 

Although as consumers, we often tend to turn to those whom we know and trust for recommendations, especially for larger, expensive purchases, we are also inclined to read reviews and testimonials from complete strangers to ensure that we are going to get our money’s worth out of the deal. Think about the last time you made an online purchase, you probably had numerous options to decide between. What made you decide to purchase the item you did over similar items? Most likely the answer is because you read the reviews, read through the questions that had been asked regarding the product, and made an educated decision based on the word and experience of someone else. 

The online reviews, questions and answers, and ratings that you took into consideration before making a purchase are all various forms of word-of-mouth. Because businesses know how important this information is to consumers, they strive to achieve and have positive word-of-mouth shared in order to continue conducting business, either online or in person.  After making a purchase or conducting business with an organization, you can help them with their word of mouth marketing by leaving a review, rating, or testimonial, so help others, like those who went before you did to help you. 

How does Word-of-Mouth Help Businesses?

Nowadays, it is not all that uncommon to see a vast majority of businesses running paid social media campaigns, paid ads, paid promotions, or simply not doing anything to promote their business. This is because a majority of businesses believe that in order to be successful when it comes to marketing and advertising, it will cost you money. The old adage of it takes money to make money plays into this mentality. When the truth of the matter is that it might take some money, but not always. When you simply do your job and do it well, go the extra mile, create a lasting impression, you’ll get more attention and business than if you simply were to pay for marketing and advertisements. 

Successful businesses have learned that you don’t need to spend copious amounts of money to have a successful marketing campaign. Instead, all you need to have is a successful word-of-mouth marketing campaign. This is achieved by providing a great customer service experience that leaves your customers talking. It is these conversations that achieve your marketing strategy without costing you more than what you provided during your interaction with your customers. 

It is estimated that a positive word-of-mouth experience will reach approximately 40,370 people in only one year. Think of how many potential customers that is by simply providing a positive experience that is worth talking about! That is a larger audience than you could reach simply by paying for marketing to be done within your limited circle of friends, family, and followers. The possibilities of how many people you can reach and how far of a reach you can have with your business simply by investing time into developing and promoting your business’s word-of-mouth marketing campaign. 

How Effective is Word-of-Mouth?

There is a reason why seasoned marketing professionals and business entrepreneurs are invested in word-of-mouth marketing campaigns, and that is simply because of how powerful and effective it is. One of the main reasons why word-of-mouth is so effective is that studies have found approximately 92% of consumers trust recommendations that they receive from friends and family over what they see in advertisements. A majority of American consumers get recommendations on potential purchases from friends and family, with only a few getting their information from TV or radio advertisements. 

The shift that consumers are making from getting their information from advertisements to friends, family, and by conducting their own online research shows just how valuable and effective word-of-mouth is to consumers. Because most consumers are no longer going into a store or restaurant without having some idea of what to expect or looking for something specific, businesses must create an environment that ultimately leads to conversations and positive word-of-mouth exposure. 

Oftentimes when a consumer is loyal to a specific brand, they will go out of their way to let everyone they know about the brand and all that they have to offer. The same goes for companies that focus on providing an exceptional customer experience, every time someone walks through their front door, these experiences are then shared again and again. Because consumers rely heavily on recommendations from those they know and trust, creating these brands and experiences is the key to having effective and successful word-of-mouth marketing now and again in the future. 

How do Reviews Affect Word-of-Mouth 

Not only do consumers seek recommendations from those they know and trust, but they also read online reviews to learn more specifics about a product, brand, or business. So, how do reviews work in regards to word-of-mouth marketing? The best way to think of reviews is the most important role that a review will play is to act as a word-of-mouth recommendation or warning for future customers and consumers. These reviews will either praise the product that was purchased, the customer services received, or they will warn others to be cautious and potentially recommend taking their money elsewhere.  

Reviews typically are viewed as unbiased, authentic, genuine feedback from someone who has personal experience with a brand or product. Because reviews are viewed so highly, many people often trust online reviews as much as they do recommendations and reviews from people they know and trust.  

Reviews can provide additional information or insight into a product or service that is not included in a product description, or a consumer would not receive directly from the company themselves. It is the additional information and details that allow for consumers to make the most informed decision possible, before investing in a product or service that they might not be completely satisfied with. 

As a result of reviews being viewed so highly among consumers, many businesses are promoting their online reviews for others to see. With many consumers moving to online purchases, it is even more important for businesses to place an emphasis on receiving and publishing their online reviews so that their online customers can experience word-of-mouth for themselves. 

Not only do online reviews help your online consumers, but reviews can also help you to get noticed by search engines, leading to more consumers online. The more online reviews that you can get, the more consumers you’ll reach, the more business you’ll do, and the cycle will then repeat with more reviews, consumers, and sales! Reviews are a critical aspect of a successful word-of-mouth marketing campaign that can make a huge difference, whether you are conducting business online or not.  

The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing 

Word-of-mouth marketing is extremely powerful. Consumers are talking and consumers are listening to know where and who to conduct business with. When you take the time to learn what exactly word-of-mouth marketing entails and how to ensure that you receive positive word-of-mouth, you’ll begin to notice a difference in your marketing plan. 

Getting customers to talk about your business goes beyond a simple “like” on social media, it is going to take having a plan. Gain insight into who your consumers are, what they expect from your business, and what will get them talking. The key to being successful with word-of-mouth is getting people talking because if people stop talking about your business, they are going to forget about your business. 

Getting your customers talking, may require you to get creative and think outside the box. Think of some small way that you can show appreciation to your customers that will get them talking, and bring others in to see for themselves what the hype is all about. There is power behind words, both positive and negative. What can you do to continue receiving positive word-of-mouth? What can you change to receive positive feedback instead of negative? Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what you’d want to see and experience and develop a marketing plan around that. 

When done right, word-of-mouth will be the only form of advertisement that you will ever need; and the best part is that it won’t cost you anything extra! Not sure where to get started with encouraging conversations that promote word-of-mouth exposure, try implementing the different ideas mentioned earlier in this article. 

Don’t be afraid to start the conversation yourself if necessary, talk about a new product you’re now carrying in-store, or highlight an employee who went above and beyond on your social media pages. All it takes is for one person to start the conversation, for others to join in and continue the conversation with their close group of friends and family. Once the conversation is started, don’t let it stop! Keep providing experience to keep the conversation going, you’ll be glad that you did. 

Word-of-mouth marketing has evolved over the years, but it is not dead. Make sure that you have adapted your marketing strategies to account for the changes in how people get and share information, to ensure that your word-of-mouth efforts are successful. No matter what you do, don’t ever underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing.  


Author: Ashley Christensen

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