Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) is consistently ranked as the number one way for businesses to secure new customers. And shouldn’t it be? Customers report time and time again that they are more likely to purchase a new product if a trusted family member, friend, or coworker were to recommend it, rather than if a company were to push the product out in in traditional advertising outlets such as print or digital. To put this in social perspective: WOMM is the most cost effective and successful way of bringing in new customers to a business. This is to say that the power of WOMM is greater than that of Internet and television marketing, both multi-billion dollar advertising industries.
So how can you wrangle WOMM and use it in your favor to bring in new business?
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, are great ways to interact with customers by creating an honest dialogue. In order to create a long lasting relationship with customers, and therefore in order to retain business, transitioning from a “Like” to love relationship is imperative. This means that though it is important to develop a strong base of followers, reaching out to customers in an individualized manner is a great way to earn a customer’s trust while helping them feel valued. Responding to comments on Facebook and YouTube, or tweeting back at customers praises, complaints, and questions are ways to show customers that you care. In this way, a two-way dialogue helps the customer think of your business as more humanized entity that they will be more likely to remain loyal to, especially if the product continues to please.
So, while creating a product or providing quality services are what initially attract new customers, creating a dialogue through social media engagement helps create a loyal following that will help do a little (free) advertising for you. With these two components, it is only a matter of time that customers who love your product begin to spread the word, more or less signing on as trusted brand ambassadors for your business by recommending your product or service to their circle of friends, who are then in turn more likely to consider purchasing your product. If you open a pet store franchise it might be a wise decision to use social media to your benefit.