Own the Conversation of Your Company
Contrary to what you might believe, anyone who works in marketing would probably be willing to admit that the best form of marketing and advertising is word of mouth. Not print, or radio, television or billboards. And you have more control over it than you think.
Friends and family members telling their network of people about a new product or service that enjoyed or making a recommendation to someone looking for a specific product or service is the best way to earn new customers.
Time has changed though, and the ways in which people communicate has changed with it. While the traditional word of mouth will always win out, now we have social media to augment our ability to share stories with our community.
We notice a lot of businesses have social media and they post frequently. Some businesses like to reward customers for posting about their product, or for leaving positive reviews on sites like Yelp. Giving outright quid pro quo rewards for good reviews is a tricky line to balance and could leave you on an FTC naughty list.
But a method like that is close to the right idea.
People want to share experiences, and people will recommend you to friends and family when given an opportunity, if they like to do business with you. Your goal is to create opportunities for them to share.
A smart social media/digital campaign encourages people to interact with your business and to share the results with their friends. Contests, games, and shareable content is your way of organically encouraging your customers to share your story with their network.
You don’t need to post de facto advertisements for your business constantly on your social channels. Start conversations; be topical and fun and invite your followers to chime in and bring their friends into the fold.
It’s important to reinforce your social channels and to encourage customers to follow them and know about them. Even something as simple as signage in your place of business or on vehicles can help reinforce the idea that customers can connect with your digitally.
One good tactic is recognizing users who have left reviews on Yelp. This will encourage others to do the same, without getting you into trouble down the line. Share positive reviews on social, and thank people that post good things. You’ll be surprised how well that works.
If you provide a good product or service with a pleasant customer experience, your customers will share this with their network, just as they always have through time.
But now, with social media, you have the ability to force the issue and create scenarios for people to be your ambassador without realizing it. Give your customers the tools to spread the word and they will.