Word of mouth is a concept that’s been around for quite some time now. Essentially, it’s the passing of information from one person to another via oral communication. The world is going increasingly digital, and with that, social media has allowed an entirely new means of these exchanges. If you haven’t realized it yet, that has some BIG implications for your business.
According to HubSpot’s latest marketing statistics, nearly one-third of the world uses social media regularly. To complement this, 83% of marketers actively pursue social media marketing initiatives. Even in a B2B industry, 81% of B2B decision makers use online communities and blogs to help make purchasing decisions. Social media is a huge new market that should not be taken lightly by marketers or business owners.
Finding that Voice
One way to incorporate word of mouth in your digital marketing strategy is to do your research. Figure out what social medium your industry and intended audience are most likely to use, and figure out the best ways to interact with them! A few details to take into consideration, for example, may include: what voice to use in your social media postings and responses, how much humor is acceptable with that audience or industry, what time of day your followers are most active (thus more likely to engage), etc.
At the end of the day, your followers are wanting to engage and connect with a person, not a stiff-sounding business robot. Find that balance of personal and professional, and then use that voice to your advantage! By having such a positive presence on your audience’s social media, they’ll feel more comfortable engaging with your material.
Interact and Engage
That being said, this is also where the word of mouth starts to come into play. It’s VERY important that when your audience reaches out to you through social media, you are there to acknowledge it and respond. This is why the time of day that your audience is most active can be very important—because you should be active at that time too. When a customer or potential customer has a question, answer it. If it’s a concern, address it to the best of your ability. If it’s a compliment or commendation, say thank you!
These interactions are how you build loyal customers, and it’s how you take customers through the buying cycle to that final stage of retention and advocacy. Give your followers something positive to share with their followers, and so on and so forth. Before you know it, you’ve built trust with your audience! Now they’re out promoting your business and bringing your exceptional service to the attention of other leads through their social media interactions.
Maintain Your Presence
A last important detail to remember as you move forward with your social media marketing strategy is to maintain your presence. Your audience won’t be offering up a lot of word of mouth if you aren’t there to regularly receive it or respond to it. Part of building those social media connections is about establishing a community! Be there, and be there often. Your followers will appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. Your social media audience will be as likely to engage with you as you are with them, so don’t underestimate the dedication that is required to maintain a strong social media presence.
When done just right, combining a word of mouth strategy with your social media marketing strategy can almost act as a catalyst for the buying cycle. According to Brad Fay and Ed Keller of The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace, many brand-related conversations take place over social media every day. Of those, more than two-thirds of those conversations involve a recommendation to buy, consider, or avoid the brand. Your current customers’ loyalty on social media is what will bring awareness of your brand to other leads in the social media world. Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth in an increasingly digital world!
A lot of this may seem tough to figure out, but going about this in a trial-and-error sort of way will probably be the most beneficial to your social media marketing strategy in the long run. If you need some assistance putting together a strategy or increasing your positive word of mouth through social media, give us a call today! We’d be happy to help!