Posted by: admin | Posted on: April 4th, 2013 | 0 Comments
Following up on my last blog, I wanted to continue to discuss the trend that WOM influence continues to grow. Consumers increasingly want to know what other people have to say about a brand, more than what the brand has to say about a brand.
So how do we get people to talk about our brand? Facilitate conversations in social media.
In a presentation entitled “All Earned Media is Not Created Equal: Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets via Experience-Driven Social Marketing“, the argument was successfully made that personal experience does create more powerful social marketing. We know, from studies done by consulting firms like Keller Fay that WOM conversations driven by personal experience increases likelihood to purchase.
So, let’s think about that a bit. We want to get people to talk about our brands. Great. We get them to retweet or get them to Like our Facebook Page. Those activities are great, but the vitriol of a bad Yelp review is enough to explain how a bad or good personal experience can drive even more powerful social marketing and influence purchase behavior.
What that example says to me is that it’s pretty important to focus on activating and faciliatating social WOM at both point-of-purchase and post-purchase. Let’s allow the actual users of our products and services tell our story. WOM driven by personal experience carries great value to potential new customers. It carries the weight of advocacy, and it also bears a relationship with customer retention.
So, how can we activate WOM by those that have experienced our services? Give your buyers the opportunity to tell their social networks that they purchased your amazing new widget. Here are a few ways:
- Set up social check-out
- Send a follow up email with a request for reviewing or rating your product or customer service
- Send a follow-up survey
- Ask buyers to let others know what they think about your product and give them a coupon or special discount to share with their friends
- If you think you have enough advocates, develop a campaign for buyers to submit photos or videos of themselves using the product.
- Make sure you’re on Yelp and Travelocity and other reivew sites and thank and respond to customers when they provide feedback – both good and bad.
When you provide channels for buyers and customers to create WOM based on personal experience, you’re creating the most powerful marketing possible.
Have you made experience-driven social marketing a priority?
Posted by: admin | Posted on: March 16th, 2013 | 0 Comments
A few weeks ago I participated in Social Media Week and attended an interesting session entitled ”You’ve Built a Fanbase, Now What?” The host was EnageSciences a company that calls itself a “next generation social media activation software.” The premise of the panel’s presentation is that we can get fans or followers in the social space, but like any database or network, the value of that network comes from activating or “doing something” with those contacts. The primary goal in social is to get your fans to talk about your business or service or product (engagement). Engage Sciences happens to be a company that has developed a software filled with tools to help you do that. So you get your engagement. But then what? What value does that engagement, that you invested so much money in time in developing, really carry for our brands? And how do we know that value is worth the financial investment?
Well, at least one way we know those conversations are valuable is by understanding that WOM influence on purchasing is growing. The pendulum of who consumers listen to for advice on what products to buy, continues to move away from companies themselves and more and more towards WOM from friends, family and other consumers. That trend is not reversing. If someone said to you that your buyers don’t care what you have to say about your widgets, but they really care about what others say about your widgets, wouldn’t you want, dare I say, feel responsible, to generate conversation about your widgets by facilitating and activating engaged conversations?
If we accept that this pendulum isn’t reversing, and that the trajectory and the value of WOM is only increasing, then it makes sense to invest in social engagement because we’ve already established the future value, we just need to measure that value and grow it. And the raison d’être for EngageSciences and other Social Marketing Management Software like HubSpot and Wildfire, just to name a few, is to provide tools that assist companies and brands better “activate”and generate that highly valued WOM engagement as well as place a monetary value on it.
Certainly, one outcome of the growing value of WOM is that websites will evolve into a more social place. The suggestion was made that ”social content is the future of websites” and that websites won’t look like they do today with perhaps FB and Twitter feeds, but instead be a site where curated content from fans or followers talking about your business will actually make up the dynamic fabric of your site. To keep pace with the need for WOM content, companies need to get to work today to build the foundations of their communites.
And if the future expectation as the pendulum continues to swing is that the consumer voice is the only one that matters, we all need to be prepared to facilitate bringing that voice to the forefront for our brands.