You Know Word-of-Mouth is Important. Now Go Engage It.

December 18, 2019 | 642 views

You Know Word-of-Mouth is Important. Now Go Engage It.
You Know Word-of-Mouth is Important. Now Go Engage It.

Last month, we posted about why Word-of-Mouth is valuable in the digital age. Its client-centered approach and perceived reliability are attributes to appreciate as part of your marketing arsenal. Harnessing its power and strategically managing Word-of-Mouth does take some concentrated focus and effort, however, to be effective.

Based on your needs, budget, and business size, you can engage customers in promoting your business by Word-of-Mouth. If you are able, dedicate a specific person to manage these tactics to become the expert of your social presence. Not every bad thing is avoidable online, but a singular person can manage it with a focus on keeping your online reputation and presence a forceful component of your marketing mix.

Follow Review Sites. Keeping a pulse on your online reviews can be very valuable. Places like Yelp, Google, Nextdoor, and Amazon are used regularly by potential buyers of your service or product. Negative comments can be enlightening for you, and positive reviews will guide more customers toward your company. Dedicate a specific person to check your online sites every day or every week. Stay on top of conversations, and engage directly to encourage conversation and comments.

Engage Influencers. Influencers have developed a following of people who trust the information provided by the influencer. It might be someone who specializes in non-profit leadership or car parts—if it is helpful to your business, follow them and then contact them if their influence is appropriate for your industry. Unlike member-based review sites, an on-line influencer could review your product for you in a positive light in exchange for a fee or in trade. This may sound unseemly, but an influencer won’t agree to do it unless she believes it adds to their trustworthiness as an expert. For you, it means you know the review will be positive, and you know it will be viewed by her followers who value the opinions she provides.

Use Social Websites. Online opinions carry a lot of weight, so reach out on your social media platforms. Search for mentions of your business using a program like Hootsuite or Agora. There are many resources available at various price points depending on your needs. Then, respond quickly and appropriately. If you’ve been mentioned online, repost on your own feeds like FaceBook, LinkedIn, or company blog. Proactively email social mentions and articles to your database of clients. Thank posters who say positive things, and respond with good customer service to those who offer a negative comment.

Use Campaigns. Interactive online campaigns can be very simple. Get Word-of-Mouth going with your own customers. It’s free, after all. For example, ask people to take photos of themselves using your product and post it. Or share their story of how they came to you. Offer drawings every week or so, drawn from those who post or retweet or share something from your social sites. Hashtags should be part of the mix too, as a part of your overall branding. When campaigns are shared, online popularity (i.e. free marketing via Word-of-Mouth) expands exponentially.

For a very low cost, using Word-of-Mouth methods to engage your clients and prospects can reward you with good relationships and increased business. Don’t delay. Make this a new project for the right person, and begin your social media journey.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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