Word of mouth marketing has now moved into the digital age thanks to the internet and, in particular, social media websites such as Facebook. The impact for small businesses is clear, because it is now a means by which individual consumer reviews can be seen by thousands of people rather than only close friends, thereby leading to even more exposure. This in turn, can lead to an increase in new customers or clients if the reviews are positive. But how can a business really take advantage of this type of marketing?
Online reviews on the rise
Prior to discussing how a business can take advantage, it is perhaps best to quickly mention how leaving reviews online for businesses has really taken off in recent years. People have been spending more and more time on sites such as Facebook and using it to arrange meetings with friends and comment on numerous things. But even review sites such as Yelp now give people the option of signing in via their Facebook login details prior to posting reviews. This then creates a network of comments online and you will also find that search engines such as Google give more weight to these comments. What this then means is that when people search for businesses online, these links often appear higher up in the results pages and people find the businesses without the businesses having to do anything themselves.
The outcome of this is that even if they leave a comment on a different site, it can appear on their Facebook page or other social media networks, and then be seen by their friends who will of course be more willing to believe whatever comments they post rather than a complete stranger. This can be a wonderful opportunity for businesses, but only if they know how to take advantage of it. It is important that comments are believable because a number of reviews on various sites are faked either by the company itself or through hiring people to post them. This adds a certain degree of uncertainty to them, which in turn can affect the business, but this approach does away with any skepticism.
Take advantage of the visibility of social media
Due to these
comments, it therefore makes sense for a business to make sure they have a presence on various social media sites to allow people who are reading these comments to find them more easily. A profile on these networks should be seen as a major advertising opportunity, which is why the profile needs to be complete and offer as much information as a potential customer would need to know prior to buying products or using services. A profile or business page can then be used to communicate with customers both new and old with various comments stating how wonderful they are, displayed for all to see. Interaction can also take place with customers when they do not have a good experience, which can then still be turned into positive for the business by encouraging them to try again.
A business should also look at openly encouraging their customers or clients to leave these comments either on the page for the business or their own personal one. This then opens up the possibility of their friends being able to ask them questions about the business instead of reading reviews by people who are pretty much anonymous. This can be done by promoting the various profiles to current customers as well as marketing it directly to people either in the local area or those who would be most likely to use the services or products.
By actively marketing a social media profile, which costs nothing to the business, it means their name becomes better known amongst the target market. Reviews and comments that are posted on the business page can then be picked up by a large number of potential customers who will be interested in discovering what other people have to say. This type of marketing has been responsible for giving business to companies more than any other type of advertising.
Encourage your customers to tell their friends all about their experiences with your products or services via social media to help boost your profile. Word of mouth marketing is still the most effective form of advertising available, but with it having moved into the digital age, you need to take full advantage because you can benefit from it in the long run.