Is Social Media the New Word of Mouth?
Word of mouth has always been a formidable and powerful marketing tool, and it is still very much a force to be reckoned with today. Many Millennials would not consider themselves swayed by traditional advertising - and so it's unsurprising that businesses have to work hard to make customers advocates of their brand, and encourage word of mouth to their peers.
Word of mouth is the very reason many of us strive so hard to deliver the best possible service and customer experience. Its the same reason we enrich our websites with streams of reliable and topical content. In the same way that technology has evolved, and the means with which we procure our products have moved forward, so too have the ways in which we spread word of mouth and share our experiences.
In a digital age, any brand who champions word of mouth but refuses to embrace social media is going no where. Social media allows us to cultivate a lasting, positive experience for customers, fans and followers. Unlike other forms of marketing it allows us to approach those most important to us with timely, relevant and engaging messages - positioned in the right place, at the right time and in the appropriate tone.
Positive engagement from brand to customer
Positive engagement with a customer could result in a tweet or retweet to say thank you. Similarly, when a customer feels they have been done a disservice they will pull no punches when they jump online to rant about it. The trick is being ready and open to all feedback and suitably prepared to get the most out of each and every possible scenario.
You can never please everyone, that’s par for the course, but ask yourself this question; ‘Who would be best placed to deal with any negative sentiment received online? A business that has invested in its online presence and social media, or one that is averse to even going online in the first place?’.
Developing a rich user experience by providing relevant information, answering questions and becoming a thought leader online are positive steps and are exactly how you generate brand warming; this in turn is exactly how you drive targeted, interested web traffic back to your site. Getting your business’ social media up and running, however basic, is at the very least as valuable as a recommendation from one client to another.
Social media is a new breed of word of mouth marketing; you do a good job and people say good things, you do a bad one and people say bad things. But if you do nothing then they can say whatever they want and you won’t have the necessary tools and experience to combat it!
So whether you wholeheartedly embrace social media or resent it with every fibre of your being, it’s here, it works and there is always a use for a useful tool.