The Importance of Word-of-Mouth in the Digital World – By Denise Kennedy – Startupmarketingmentor.com
Do you know if your customers are talking about your business? More importantly, do you know what they are saying, and where they are sharing their experience of your business? If you don’t, you are in trouble….
Word-of-Mouth Advertising (or Marketing), as defined by Entrepreneur.com is “an unpaid form of promotion in which satisfied customers tell other people how much they like a business, product or service”.
It sounds simple doesn’t it? You deliver a good product or service and your customer will tell others how happy they are! Well, no it’s not that easy….It takes time, dedication and effort. You need to deliver a consistent and an exceptional experience to your customer throughout his/her relationship with you, and maybe then, they will put their own reputation at risk by recommending you. Your business also needs to be easily found online so make sure you are present wherever your customers are.
How word-of-mouth has evolved
Word-of-Mouth is the oldest form of advertising. Before the advent of print, people gathered in taverns and shops to exchange opinions, speak their minds and catch up on the latest news. It is the most credible and one of the most effective ways to build your business and grow your reputation. People always have, and always will, believe the advice and opinions of others.
With the advent of the Digital Age, the ever-connected consumer and the rise of social media, word-of-mouth has changed. Rather than being a conversation between two people, today word-of-mouth can reach hundreds, if not thousands of people thanks to the power of social media, online forums and reviews.
The power of Social Media
Today, social media is the most common vehicle for word-of-mouth advertising and business owners must understand the influence that Twitter, Facebook, online forums and blogs have on their reputation and the success (or failure) of their business.
Before making any form of purchase, the connected consumer will conduct research online by logging into dedicated forums, asking their friends for help and advice on Twitter and Facebook and by reading reviews. I do this every time I want to purchase something – last weekend my partner and I went to a seaside town that we did not know for two nights. We stayed in a beautiful hotel that we chose following an evening reading a number of reviews on TripAdvisor and Booking.com. The hotel we stayed in was excellent and not only met, but exceeded our expectations. Do you know what I did when I got home – I gave the hotel a very positive review online and I would certainly recommend it to anyone who asks me! This form of research is a pure example of word-of-mouth in the digital age.
What you can do to build word-of-mouth
To generate positive word-of-mouth, build your reputation and spread awareness of your business, you can start by:
- Creating a simple and informative website with customer testimonials
- Setting up a Facebook Business page and asking your customers to “like” your page
- Starting a Twitter account and building “real” followers
- Building a Google + profile and business page
- Listing your business in various online directories
- Asking your customers to recommend you on various online reviews and forums
- Each time someone likes your Facebook page, favourites your tweet or posts a positive review about your business, it is a firm approval of your product or service.
Don’t miss out on growing your business
In summary, businesses can no longer afford to ignore the online world and the importance it plays in spreading the word about your business (be it positive or negative) and if you are clever you will increase your number of customers and your profits.
Find out how I can help you increase your word-of-mouth marketing today visit Startupmarketingmentor.com