When one thinks about social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and the like probably come to mind.

So here’s a question: What did we do before “social media?” The answer is that we still shared our messages socially.  We talked to our friends, family, and colleagues about our experiences. The technical term for this is Word Of Mouth Marketing (WOMM).

Why is Word Of Mouth Marketing Important?

According to Nielsen, 83% of buyers trust friends' and family’s recommendations over all other forms of advertising. This is likely because consumers have shared values and experiences with the people with whom they are closest. In fact, 64% of brands agree that word of mouth marketing is more effective than traditional methods.

How to Move Your Customers to Make You Known

When your customers reach the point in the customer lifecycle where they desire to share about their positive experiences with your company, this is a sign that your business is in a good place, and it’s likely to get even better in the future. But what specific steps can you take to get to this “good place?”

Engage—This is your opportunity to show customers that they are more than just a number—they’re people that you and your company actually care about. Listen to what your customers need. What are their pain points? Once you listen, do the work of responding. This type of listening and responding is what takes place in a healthy relationship. And who doesn’t like to share about when they are in a strong, growing relationship?

Equip—In other words, give your customers something worth talking about. It’s critical that your business lives up to its advertisements. Whether it be service, products, knowledge, or customer service, equip your customers with an experience worth talking about in the most positive way possible. You can also equip your customers with a concrete message to share in the form of branded content, pictures, or even a case study. The point is that you make it easy and convenient for your customers to share. 

Empower—Sometimes, customers need guidance and coaching. They’ve had a good experience with your company, but they may not always know the most effective way to share it. This is where you come in. Let them know that their opinion matters. Whether they realize it or not, they are people of influence. From challenging them to share and tag your account on their social media accounts to running contests asking customers to help you help them, the reach that customers have is at a level never seen before because of social media. That being said, your business can’t afford to discount the power of the everyday conversation as 90% of word of mouth marketing happens offline.

The saying goes that “our words have power.” It’s vital to your company’s continued growth that you leverage this truth. Take advantage of the meaningful connections provided through your customers’ interpersonal relationships. Positively engage with them, equip customers to be your representatives, and empower them with the tools to do so. With this winning combination, you can trust that your business’s reach will be more meaningful and travel further than ever.