The power of word-of-mouth marketing on social media
Social media has changed the way consumers think, whether it is the purchasing decision or the brand’s perception. It ultimately has become a platform to research products and services before purchase. Consumers can now easily read reviews, compare prices, and learn about product features without leaving their homes. Social media has also given consumers access to a wider range of products, as businesses can now reach out to potential customers outside their traditional target markets.
Businesses have long relied on word-of-mouth marketing to promote their products or services. It is a highly effective form of marketing as it is entirely based on the personal experiences and opinions of the customers to spread their words about a brand or business.
An article published by Forbes based on a survey conducted by Market Force revealed that social media posts by companies impacted the purchase of 78% of respondents.
The same study also concluded that 81% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over any form of advertising. Social media provides a platform for customers to share their experiences with friends and family, and for businesses to leverage these interactions to promote their products or services and expand their audience base.
Social media has also increased the level of engagement between consumers and businesses. Consumers can now contact businesses directly through social media platforms, providing feedback, and asking questions. This interaction has created a sense of trust and loyalty between businesses and their customers.
With the growth of social media, businesses now have new opportunities to harness the power of word-of-mouth marketing and reach a wider audience.
In this article, we will find out how businesses can do word-of-mouth marketing on social media, the benefits of this approach, and the potential setbacks to avoid.
Benefits of Word-of-Mouth Marketing on social media
1. Increased Reach:
Utilize social media to increase your reach as it offers a much better opportunity for businesses to reach a wider audience than traditional word-of-mouth marketing. Even a single post on social media can be shared or reshared by hundreds or thousands of people, which potentially reaches millions of other potential customers.
2. Enhanced Credibility:
Word-of-mouth marketing on social media helps businesses build trust with new customers because the recommendations come directly from someone they know. This approach is highly effective as it is perceived as more authentic and trustworthy than any other form of advertising.
3. Low Cost:
Word-of-mouth marketing on social media is a low-cost alternative to traditional advertising. Businesses can leverage their existing social media presence to promote their products and services through customer interactions.
4. Increased Engagement:
Businesses can increase engagement on their social channels with the help of word-of-mouth marketing by interacting with their customers and encouraging them to share their experiences. Improving social media engagement helps businesses win customers' trust and build a unique identity.
Setbacks to Avoid
While there is no denying that word-of-mouth marketing can be highly beneficial, it also can lead to some setbacks that businesses should be aware of and must avoid:
Businesses must ensure that their social media interactions are genuine and authentic. Customers can quickly spot inauthentic interactions and may react negatively, damaging the business's reputation.
2. Lack of Control:
Word-of-mouth marketing on social media relies on customer interactions, which businesses have little control over. Businesses must respond to both positive and negative interactions in a timely and professional manner.
Social media is full of misinformation. Businesses must make sure that whatever they share is accurate and verifiable to avoid potential damage to their reputation.
How to Do Word-of-Mouth Marketing on social media
1. Encourage user-generated content:
Businesses should encourage their customers to create and share user-generated content. This can help increase brand awareness and create a sense of community around the brand.
Users participate by sharing content online related to businesses and brands. It is related to testimonials, reviews, influencer posts, and ratings. Since these are coming directly from the users, businesses and brands must be careful in managing the UG content as they can be both good and bad.
2. Use Social Listening:
Social listening involves monitoring social media platforms for mentions of a business or its products and services. This approach can help businesses identify opportunities to gain essential customer insights.
Some of the ways social listening helps businesses gain significant competitive advantage by listening to these digital voices:
a) Engage with customers:
One of the best ways to gain customers’ trust is by engaging with them frequently, as it shows that you genuinely care about your customers. Social listening can help you keep track of the mentions from your customers so that you can promptly respond to feedback and queries.
b) Address issues:
Every business faces a crisis at some point, regardless of how effective its marketing strategies are. Social listening can help you detect if anything goes wrong and address potential issues before they become larger problems.
c) Measure your campaign’s effectiveness:
Social listening is a powerful tool for businesses to monitor how well a campaign is performing. By knowing how people engage with their campaigns, businesses can gain insights to identify areas that need improvement and make necessary adjustments to optimize their campaign performance.
d) Track brand sentiment:
Social listening allows businesses to measure the sentiment of their audience. Sentiment analysis of online conversations can help businesses determine whether their campaigns are being received positively or negatively. Based on this information, they can make necessary changes to their messaging and approach.
e) Identify emerging trends:
With the help of keywords and hashtags, businesses can uncover trending topics relevant to their target audience. Using this information, they can adjust their messaging to better align with the interests of their target audience.
f) Benchmark against competitors:
Social listening can help businesses benchmark their campaigns against their competitors. By monitoring what people are saying about their competitors' campaigns, businesses can gain insights into what is working well and what isn’t and adjust their own campaigns accordingly.
g) Identify influencers:
Social listening helps businesses in spotting influencers and advocates talking positively about them. Recommendations from the influencers add credibility as customers tend to trust the word of influencers more than a traditional ad. Businesses can leverage the large following of influencers on social media to promote their products and services.
3. Encourage Customer Reviews:
Reviews left on social media platforms such as Facebook and Google My Business can be highly influential in promoting a business to potential customers. Therefore, businesses must encourage their customers to leave a review by providing incentives such as a discount or coupon.
4. Share Customer Experiences:
Customer experiences shared in the form of user-generated content, such as photos or videos reflect the honest opinion of customers. UG content can help businesses build a strong audience base and boost customer engagement.
5. Run Contests and Giveaways:
Businesses can run contests and giveaways on social media to encourage customer engagement and promote their products and services. These promotions can be highly effective in generating word-of-mouth marketing as customers share their participation with friends and family.
6. Offer Referral Programs:
Referral programs are a powerful way to incentivize customers to promote a business to their friends and family. By offering rewards or discounts for referrals, businesses can encourage customers to spread the word about their products and services on social media.
7. Collaborate with Other Businesses:
Businesses can collaborate with other businesses to promote each other's products and services on social media. This approach can help both businesses reach a wider audience and generate new leads and customers.
Social proof is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when people assume that the actions of others reflect correct behavior. In social media, social proof refers to the number of likes, shares, and positive reviews received by a product or service. The more positive feedback a product or service receives, the more likely consumers are to purchase it.
Word-of-mouth marketing on social media can be a highly effective way for businesses to promote their products and services. By following discussed steps, companies can save time and money alongside potentially expanding their audience base. Words coming directly from someone familiar not only instill trust but also boosts the confidence of the customers in the brand.