How many times have you made a purchase based on the advice of others?
Whether polling Facebook for recommendations from “friends” or relying on the reviews of strangers online, today’s consumers value the advice of others when making purchasing decisions.
Believe it or not, this idea of sharing opinions and experiences with a product or brand is a form of marketing. It’s called Word of Mouth Marketing —WOMM for short. Recognized as the most powerful and influential form of advertising, WOMM has taken the world of emerging media by storm as an effective and inexpensive way to get consumers excited about a product.
Obviously, social media plays a key role in WOMM, enabling companies to get the word out about new products faster than ever. It also allows customers to share good — and bad — experiences or reviews, which can both help and hinder a brand’s image.
So how does a brand generate the best WOMM it can? Why, with the Three E’s of course!
Engage— Brands need to be interactive on social media. Listening to consumers, answering and asking questions are all great ways to solve problems, gather ideas and generate positive conversation around a brand.
Equip— It’s important for brands to give consumers reasons to talk. From awesome products to stellar customer service and interesting stories, there are many ways to generate a buzz around a brand. The trick is to know what consumers are looking for and give it to them!
Empower— Brands find success in WOMM when they give consumers multiple platforms to talk about the brand and share what their thoughts and experiences. Letting people know that their thoughts and opinions matter is a great way to stimulate consumer conversations.
One last thought: WOMM and Millennials
WOMM is especially important when marketing to the millennial demographic. Millennials are a very aware and engaged group of consumers, but they do not respond well to traditional methods of in-your-face marketing. Likewise, they value the opinions of other consumers more than anything else and usually base most of their purchase decisions on past buyer experiences. Therefore, getting satisfied customers to spread the word about a brand is key to marketing to this group.