Many companies underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Word-of-mouth marketing campaigns can be the most effective and efficient tools in building and sustaining a customer base. Think about it: When you want a good pizza or need a cheap dry cleaner, whom do you ask? If your first instinct is to ask a trusted friend or neighbor, then you can understand where I’m headed. If the most trusted source for good pizza and cheap dry cleaning is a friend or neighbor, then why wouldn’t it be for good health insurance or a trustworthy bank? According to a recent New York Times poll, a “recommendation from a friend” is the most credible source of information.
A company’s best critic is not a magazine journalist, but rather its existing customers. The value comes in a company’s relationship with its customers. Think about the last time you rewarded a top customer with something more than the services you charge for? If you cannot recall, or it’s been more than a couple of months, then you need to step it up. When customers are celebrated or rewarded, it’s probable that they’ll spread the news. Sharing news, and even bragging, is part of human nature, and we all do it.
Admit it — you’re reluctant to sign on to Twitter because it sounds like a colossal waste of time. Would it help to describe Twitter as your own news feed, allowing you to quickly scan headlines from sources and people you respect on topics you’re interested in? The sources and people are who you follow (@BusinessName, @ThoughtLeader/Columnist/Blogger), and the topics are identified by hashtag (#): #tsunami, #healthcare, #vancouver. Hashtag use makes it easy to pick up the 140-character essence of conferences and events. Learn more applications here.