I come across many businesses that still rely almost exclusively on word of mouth marketing to drive their business growth, sans social media. I didn’t realize just how many businesses still refuse to embrace social media! I’m not knocking these businesses, because that wouldn’t be politically correct. However, I do subscribe to the “if you leave your marketing to chance you’re leaving your mortgage payments to chance” school of thought. Why?
New crops of entrepreneurs and start-ups are being introduced to the world in droves. While word of mouth once worked as a great means to grow, we now have the use of technology to break down those geographic boundaries! Your competition is just too great (and savvy) to ignore the potential of social media marketing.
Remember when we used the Yellow Pages to search for a business? When is the last time you picked up a phone book to search for anything? Uh huh, I thought so.
I haven’t used a phone book in years. So if the only place a company advertises is in the Yellow Pages they will never even hit my radar, or factor into my decision-making process, and I could be their next big customer.
The same thing applies to marketing techniques and your business. If you’re relying on word of mouth marketing, you’re leaving money on the table, and you’re standing in the way of your success. Might I interest you in an upgrade, a little something called “social media”?
Social Media is the New Word of Mouth Marketing
Let’s unmask the potential of this marketing beast. Social media is perfect for businesses that rely on word of mouth marketing. It’s a new game, but the same rules still apply. Think of social media as word of mouth marketing on steroids!
Here are 5 reasons why social media is perfect to drive word of mouth marketing for your business.
Social media decreases degrees of separation within your network.
One of the most powerful benefits of social media is that it helps you spread your messages and content not just to your immediate network of fans, friends, and followers, but also to their fans, friends, and followers. Your circle of influence grows exponentially with every new fan you get. Social media makes it easy for others to share your content, spreading your messages to more prospects you didn’t initially have contact with and generating word of mouth buzz to a larger group of potential customers.
Social media makes giving recommendations and referrals even easier.
People are constantly suggesting products and services to friends in social media. Furthermore, people are constantly asking for recommendations. Social media is a great way for people to share their opinions about products and services and suggest them to others in need. Everyone loves to read reviews and testimonials when they buy products, and people often consult social media to get these reviews and opinions.
Social media gives you control over your first message to your audience.
Because many times your fans and followers will just be sharing your original message with their networks, social media enables you to control your first messaging. This gives you the opportunity to shape your marketing messages in the exact way you want them to be perceived by prospects. You’re writing posts and crafting the exact message you want shared with the world. Your brand ambassadors don’t have to use their own words to introduce your brand to their friends, you’re writing the introduction via your social media posts to be shared.
Social media helps build relationships.
This encourages more word of mouth marketing for your business! Social media shouldn’t be a one-way form of communication. Sure, it can be a helpful tool to promote your content and spread your messages, but it’s also critical to also engage in a two-way dialogue with your fans and followers. Building good relationships with your fans will also make them more likely to evangelize and spread your marketing messages, increasing word of mouth!
Social media removes geographic boundaries.
It enable you to compete on an international scale, if you like. Now you tell me, what other platform easily enables you to communicate with your peers and target market across the globe? You can take your brand and your business to new heights that before were insurmountable without big brand budgets. Now, you can use social media to build global relationships. You can still benefit as a local business: you can build awareness for people who travel or move to your area. Think press, sharing, and even more word of mouth!
Are you convinced yet?
Are you convinced of the power of social media to help generate word of mouth for your business? Give it a try.
It’s not enough to put up a couple of social media profiles and go back to business as usual. No, you have to engage, interact, and devise a strategy to get the most of from social media. However, if you plan to have a wildly successful business in the 21st century, the time is now to embrace social media, or you run the risk of extinction.