When was the last time you bought something online? Did you read the reviews of the product or service before you made the purchase? Maybe you went on social networks and asked your friends for their suggestions.
If you have done either of these you have used eWOM, or electronic word-of-mouth marketing.
How does this apply to you and your small business? With people constantly on social networks, the importance of knowing how these potential customers see your business is crucial. People online trust their “friends” on Facebook before they trust you. Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) marketing influences your target audiences in a major way.
What is eWOM?
This form of marketing is just like the normal word-of-mouth marketing tactic, only online. For small businesses, word-of-mouth is the biggest form of promotion they have. When your customers go online and talk about your products/services, they’re giving a review of your business, both officially and unofficially.
What’s the difference?
Think of an official review as the reviews you can leave on a business’ Facebook page. This also consists of star ratings. These are people letting the world wide web know what they think about you.
An unofficial review could classify as a customer posting a status sharing his or her experience. This could also be a text message being sent to a friend venting about how long food took to get to the table at a restaurant.
The bottom line is this, if a person has a great customer experience with your small business, they’ll brag to their friends about the quality of service associated with you. This type of marketing goes viral. Make the most of it!
How to Use eWOM to Benefit Your Small Business
Follow these pointers and make the most out of eWOM:
Let your customers be heard. Disabling the ability to comment on, rate, or review your business leads people to think you have something to hide. If a negative review surfaces, address the issue in a professional, positive manner to show the quality of your customer service!
Give your audience something to talk about. What better way to ensure people are talking about your small business highly than by going viral? A simple video or photo of your business doing something powerful in your community speaks volumes. When you make your audience feel inspired, they share that source of inspiration with everyone they know online.
Speak their language. Your customers feel connected to you if they can relate to your social media presence. Use humor, hashtags, or whatever it takes. This really comes down to knowing your audience. That connection you build leads to a great recommendation and more business for you.
Track Yourself. Have you ever googled yourself online? Try doing that with your business! Often, Google bots that crawl sites for your searched keyword or phrase pull up reviews or content related to your business. Check it out!
All in all, with our world becoming increasingly digital, the strong need for understanding and utilizing eWOM is here. Now that you know how to use this marketing tactic to your advantage, go generate some buzz!