Three ways to use social media for word-of-mouth marketing

15234419 - big secretOne of the best forms of marketing occurs when a happy customer shares their good experience with others. People trust recommendations from friends and family more than they trust advertising by companies.

Word of mouth is a powerful way to boost sales, and social media presents the opportunity to multiply this person-to-person sharing exponentially.

The key to creating experiences that are worth sharing is to focus on engaging with your audience, rather than on adding followers.

Start by being present. It’s not enough to post glossy product pics or motivational quotes. Really listen to what your audience is saying. Respond to what you’re hearing. Be part of the conversation. Use social media as a customer service tool as well as a sales tool.

Give your audience something to talk about. Ask for feedback on packaging. Share behind-the-scenes glimpses. Invite them to name your next product. Query them about what they’d like to see next from you. Create a custom hashtag to tie the community together and give fans a way to talk to each other.

Add a charitable component. One of the best ways to inspire people to share is to do good. This type of consumer-driven charity is very powerful because it’s a win-win. When your customer buys from you, they know that they’ll be supporting an important cause at the same time. Run a campaign where you donate a percentage of your proceeds to a charitable organization you’re passionate about.

For word-of-mouth marketing to be successful, it’s got be authentic. So make sure that any shareable content you create or any interaction you have is genuine. It’s a two-way street. When you build your community this way, your social media followers become ambassadors for your brand, which is the best kind of marketing there is.