Alright, so if you’ve read this far you’re still interested in learning how to get people talking and spreading positive words about your company. In previous Blog Posts, we’ve learned about talking and listening objectives and matching it to your specific target audience using the Social Technographic profiles. Now, this is where the next POST objective comes in…
Energizing the Groundswell
When Political Candidates get their supporters riled up and spreading the word, we call it “energizing the base” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). It’s the same with companies and consumers. Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) is the official word of mouth and social media marketing association. According to them, “word of mouth is the most honest form of marketing, building upon people’s natural desire to share their experience with family, friends, and colleagues” (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Nielsen wrote that “84% of consumers say they trust recommendations from people they know about products and services more than any other form of advertising (Nielsen, 2013). Another statistic stated that 68% of consumers trust online opinions from other consumers (Nielsen, 2013). There’s no debate that word of mouth is influential to consumers, but why?
Word of mouth is influential because it’s….
- Believable: Customers are more willing to listen to other customers testimonials because they see them as more credible (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
- Self-reinforcing: The more people consumers hear something from, the more likely they will believe in that product or service (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
- Self-spreading: Word of mouth generates into more word of mouth (Li & Bernoff, 2011).
As you can see in the graph below, the following dictates how much online North American Consumers trust sources of information about products or services.
Your customers are your best Asset! Customer service can go a long way in how consumers view a company and whether they are willing to talk about it.
Tips and Tricks to Energize Enthusiasts
- “Tap into customer’s enthusiasm with rating and reviews” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, pg. 134). This works best with direct customer contact. By adding ratings and reviews to your company’s online presence, it creates an easy way to energize your company’s critics.
WestJet’s Social Technographic Profile suggested that 29% of their target audience are Critics who post ratings and reviews which influence other demographics along the social Technographic ladder.
- “Create a community to energize your customers” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, pg. 134). This works best if your customers are passionate about your company. When you create a community, know what your goals and objectives are going to be to “reinforcing positive behaviours, encouraging new customers, and generating referrals” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, pg. 144).
- “Participate in and energize online communities of your brand enthusiasts” (Li & Bernoff, 2011, pg. 134). Even if you don’t have complete control, try to mitigate problems and join conversations within these communities.
Finally, some advice for energizers includes five steps for applying these techniques.These steps can determine if you are on the right track and how to embrace your enthusiastic consumers.
- Figure out if you want to energize the groundswell.
- Check the social technographic profile of your customers
- As your, “what is my customer’s problem
- Pick a strategy that fits your customers’ STP and problems
- Don’t start unless you can stick around for the long haul
To recap, in order to energize the groundswell, the most passionate and enthusiastic consumers act as leaders in promoting your company. These consumers are more than likely Critics, who are willing to post ratings and reviews about your company and generate a Return on Social Media Investment (ROI). Their influence will spark engagement and direct how other consumers will see your company.
Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). groundswell. Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. A BusinessWeek Bestseller.
Nielsen (2013) UNDER THE INFLUENCE: CONSUMER TRUST IN ADVERTISING. Media and Entertainment. Retrieved from http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2013/under-the-influence-consumer-trust-in-advertising.html