For years, word-of-mouth advertising has been the Holy Grail of the marketing world. Nothing else touches it as far as effectiveness. Ah, but getting people to recommend your products or services to others remains a huge challenge. Just how are you supposed to get people to do that?
A recent study by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) in the United Kingdom revealed that a remarkable 90 percent of consumers say they would recommend a brand to others after having interacted with that brand on social media. Word-of mouth is now “word-of mouse.” (You can read more about the study here).
Are 90 percent of your customers recommending your products or services to their friends? If they’re not, it could be because they don’t feel connected to you. That’s one of the beauties of social media. It’s not just about passing on product details. People tend to pass on what they think and feel about using your products and services. People (even your good customers) aren’t going to simply parrot the claims you make about your products and services. If, however, they can connect with you and get a sense that you’re really there to help them, that’s what they’ll pass on to their friends. That’s the social part of social media. And that’s powerful, because the people you’re trying to reach aren’t necessarily listening to you—they’re listening to their friends and colleagues.
Ian Ralph, the director at marketing sciences who conducted the IAB research, put it this way: “Our research shows that to create an emotional connection brands really need to provide clear, timely and, most important of all, relevant content that develop a conversation. Social media has the potential to turn brand customers into brand fans.”
Is it effective? IAB estimates that for every £1 spent on social media as much as £3.34 could be generated. Would you spend $1 to generate $3.34 worth of business? It’s not a bad return on investment.
What if you’re not doing much with social media? Or what if you’ve floundered around a bit trying to figure out what to do? What if the whole social media thing seems a bit out of your reach? You can get started with three simple steps. We invite you to download our free 3 Steps to Social Media Success e-book. This 10-page book will get you started on things such as how to create an effective Facebook Fan page, and how to create a Twitter account, and will provide you with plenty of key statistics to help you take advantage of the power of social media.
It’s time to take advantage of “word-of-mouse” marketing—and get your customers talking to their friends about you!