The Basics of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

WOM? WOMM? What?? Marketing and communications people do love acronyms. Both WOM and WOMM mean word-of-mouth marketing: when people who have used your service or engaged with your content share it with other people. And it’s important to note the distinction between word of mouth (which happens naturally) and word of mouth marketing (which you intentionally support and encourage).

People do business with other people that they know, like, and trust. How many times have you asked a friend if they know a good mechanic, hair stylist, HVAC service, or anything else? It happens all the time. How many times have you gone to a company’s Facebook page and read the reviews before you called them or changed your mind about trying a new restaurant because of their Yelp reviews? Also happens all the time.

So how do you influence word-of-mouth marketing? Well, if you’re a well-established brand and have a rather large advertising budget, you can launch a full-scope WOMM campaign. But it’s still possible for the little guys, too. How? You ask people to do it.

Too often, people think word of mouth just happens, and there’s nothing they can do to influence it. Think again. If you’ve ever asked a client to write a testimonial, leave a review on your social media, or introduce you to a prospect, you’ve engaged in some degree of word-of-mouth marketing. Good job!

If you haven’t done any of those things, time to get started! Consider these first steps:

  1. Identify some of your top customers and ask them to write a review on your social media pages or be featured in a testimonial (or better yet, client story) on your website.
  2. Ask your Facebook followers to share your Facebook page with a short note about why they like and trust your business.
  3. Ask your key customers if they know other individuals or businesses like them who could also use your services, and then ask for an introduction.

If you’ve been sitting back and waiting for word-of-mouth marketing to simply happen, it’s time to take charge and make it happen. Before you start, make sure you have consistent messages on your website and social media so that you better empower your customers to spread your message for you. Good luck!

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