Extraordinary Symbiosis of Word of Mouth and Social Media
Extraordinary Symbiosis of Word of Mouth and Social Media
Let's talk about Lauren. Lauren is a millennial who loves animals, singing, and hanging out with friends. You can rarely see her without a smartphone in her hand, as if it was surgically attached to her, replacing her mouth as the main way of communication. You know, pretty standard stuff. At the moment, she's typing down a message to her close friend on Facebook, recommending a specific hair shampoo. A couple of hours earlier, the shampoo brand published a post on their social media claiming that none of their products are tested on animals. Alright, let's freeze this scene and have a little chat.
Why Word of Mouth
It’s always hard to get started but once you do, you’re triggering a snowball effect. If done right, your audience will end up making the advertising efforts for you without you spending a dime. You’ll also end up with an ever-growing pool of highly loyal users.
Per Brightlocal, consumers read an average of 7 reviews before trusting a business. Additionally, 62% of consumers search online for reviews before making a purchase decision (HubSpot). This basically means that word of mouth marketing is surely one of the most powerful weapons to have in your advertising arsenal.
How to Trigger Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is very specific. A brand needs to get involved just enough to get the ball rolling and leave the rest to the users. But how to get your audience talking about your product? Well, here’s a list of five main points to keep in mind:
Make Sure Your Product Is Great And Your Audience Is Aware
Common sense – the better your product is, users are more likely to recommend it to their friends. However, that also means that you have to make sure your product is fitting for the use of a group of consumers. Giving a nudge to that particular audience by communicating the product’s greatness is the first step.
Exceed Your Users’ Expectations
They say buyers are only truly satisfied if they get something extra. If they’re getting what they expect, there is no surprise or, in other words, no opportunity for you to impress them. By creating unique user experiences, you're making a lasting impression on your buyers. Impressed buyers are more likely to share their experience with their friends, and added value is the most-often talked about topic. Think about it: someone can buy any of the 10 best hair dryers, but they'll buy the one that comes with different attachments and a special comb. It's this added value that will get people recommending this hair dryer to their friends.
UX and Ease-of-Use
Never underestimate visuals. They’re one of the key ways for you to stand out and be memorable. Make sure users visiting your website or social media channels have a pleasant visual experience. Compliment that with a streamlined ordering process and they’re in heaven. The internet is swarming with positive reviews talking about pleasant purchase processes. Is there a better topic to cover with your friends than experiencing heaven?
If you’re a news publisher, constantly provide fresh and relevant content. If you’re a retailer, make sure your deliveries are on time and your items are in stock. Create an image that makes your brand look like a reliable friend that gets things done. Once you’re there, your users will gladly help other users by recommending your brand as a safe and effective solution.
Care about Your Audience
Hey, why don’t we jump back a couple of lines and talk about Lauren? The only reason she’s typing that message right now is that the fact that the shampoo brand communicated its care about the causes she believes in. They’re friends and they care about each other. By spreading the message about the brand Lauren is also helping her cause as she’ll try to influence people to stop using brands that test on animals and use this one instead. It’s a win-win situation.
However, you have to do your homework first. Use every tool at your disposal to analyze and identify your audience and its behavior. Only then you’ll be able to form a deeper connection with them. Otherwise you’ll end up looking like a 70-year-old trying to fit in with a bunch of teenage skateboarders.
Why Social Media
In short, social media is one of the, if not the best channel to trigger positive word-of-mouth. At its core, we’re looking at a channel that users around the world use for their day to day communication. This sets up a perfect field for unleashing positive word of mouth. Brands use this to slip their messaging in. It’s just so perfectly convenient for users to share and retweet branded content between themselves. They’re already communicating all the time on the same platform and your brand might be one of the topics they talk about. HubSpot claims that users are also 71% more likely to purchase based on social media referrals.
Alright, let’s unfreeze that image. Maya, Lauren’s friend, is probably going to buy the shampoo based on her friend’s recommendation since, per HubSpot, 90% of users listen to their friends’ recommendations. Even better, if you, the brand, follows the five points above, she’s most likely going to spread the word even further, triggering a lovely word of mouth domino effect.
Social Media Should be Handled by Experts
It wasn’t easy, as the brand had to do a deep dive into its audience’s behavior as well as analyze the competition and industry trends to identify the right message to communicate. Well, knowing your audience as well as industry trends is surely the key. But who has time for all of that? This certainly doesn’t mean that you have to assign your entire team to research the market for a month or two. Outsource! External teams are already up to speed and working with so many different clients that they already know all the bells and whistles of the industry. So, while knowing that your social media efforts are handled by people who actually know what they’re doing, you’ll save time and money, as well as avoid putting additional pressure on your team.
Placing your social media handle in the hands of experts gives you a chance to sit back, relax, and watch the dominos fall.