Social media is a completely unique, relationship based marketing venue that is more similar to real world, offline networking then it is to digital marketing. The age-old term “word of mouth” just doesn’t seem fitting when the platforms used are in fact digital, yet have a similar, albeit compounding effect.
As I was thinking about the unique aspects of social networking and it’s marketing cousin social media, word of mouth came to mind, but just didn’t seem to fit. We know that it used to be that when someone had a negative experience with a company, they would tell ten people. If they had a good experience, they might only tell one. With the proliferation of social media, those numbers have multiplied exponentially due to the digital component.
I think the best way to sum up social media marketing is with the term “Word of Mouse Marketing“.
So little is required to share negative or positive sentiment about a specific company. There is no phone to dial, no need to tell the story over and over to many different friends. Just a single click and it is not only out to hundreds and thousands, but through sharing, potentially can reach millions!
Word of Mouse marketing has and will continue to change how marketing is done. Understanding the social media paradigm and leveraging it properly is the difference between PR nightmares and saving a customer. It is more importantly the difference between a growing cost center and measurable return on investment (ROI) results that really matter. You can’t underestimate the power that consumers have now by way of their computer mouse. Doing so will be at your own peril.
Three things come to mind that make word of mouse marketing effective or not. You’ll be wise to utilize them within your social media efforts:
1) Be Cool! – Make sure the content you post AND create is unique, interesting and depending on your market, yes cool. When you create and post interesting content, your community will like, comment and share, hence click the mouse.
2) Have Conversations – The more you know someone, or someone knows you, the more likely they are in social media to click. Let people know you and/or your brand by letting the YOU shine through. Then get to know your audience by asking questions and having conversations.
3) Establish Relationships – You’ve heard me say it many times – “People do business with people they feel they know and like.” Establish real relationships in your community. This is often difficult to manage via memory, so use a social CRM solution like Nimble to track prospects, customers and conversations.
The mouse is a powerful thing in today’s world. Know and use word of mouse marketing through social media to be effective!