It’s no secret that buyers place their trust in other buyers. And thanks to the entrenchment of social media it is now easier and faster for those buyers to share opinions and information.
That transformation in today’s marketplace has led Nielson to call word of mouth the “world’s most powerful sales tool.”In a 2012 survey, Nielson found that 92 percent of consumers said they trust “earned media” – such as word of mouth and recommendations from friends and family – above all other forms of advertising. That’s good for an 18-percent increase since 2007.
If all the hype is true, how should your business harness the power of customers on social media? How do you turn customers into brand advocates, and leverage them as your online sales force?
Brand advocates – or brand ambassadors – are highly satisfied consumers who genuinely love your company, products or services, and who actively promote your brand to their spheres of influence. Here are five tips to find value in your brand advocates, turning them into a cost-effective online sales and marketing force by leveraging word of mouth on social media.
Make your content shareable.
Leverage the value of your brand advocates by making it easy to share your content across all social media channels. They sustain your online presence and humanize your brand.
Identify your potential advocates.
Not every company has rabid loyalists, so roll out a fun social campaign across all platforms to draw out your most engaged customers. Keep an eye out for special consumer stories and testimonials.
Encourage your best advocates.
Transform the normal online activity of your ideal advocates by focusing your energy on them. Acknowledge them, build relationships, and make them feel appreciated and want to share their brand experiences with their networks.
Respond and engage.
It’s not enough to post compelling, original content that compels customers to share. Listen, respond and engage them via social media and provide tools to post testimonials, reviews and feedback.
Widen your audience.
It is important utilize all social media channels and run multi-platform campaigns to widen your reach and your audience. Repost recommendations and remarks across all platforms.