Play

 WOMB2 Show Notes as a Downloadable pdf

Word of mouth marketing has been around for millennia.  No doubt, even before the use of “money” as we know it. When ‘currency’ was just the trading of goods or services, there was word of mouth marketing.

Word of mouth marketing has always been a best friend of business owners.  Let’s say, your business takes care of a new customer, we’ll call him Brandon.  Brandon is especially happy with your product or service and shares his positive experience with his wife, his parents, and his brother.  A few weeks later, he also talks to someone he overhears at the hardware store, needing that same product or service.

Brandon’s hardware store acquaintance comes to you, asking that you take care of him as you took care of Brandon.  At a later point in time, another new customer comes in.  When you ask how they heard about you, they admit hearing about your work from their wife, whose friend’s husband talked about how happy he was with the product or service your business provided.

You did not market to these two new customers.  One of your very satisfied customers, Brandon, did that marketing for you.  These new customers came to you, ready to do business with you, as a result of the quality of business you had already provided to Brandon.  That is an example of word of mouth marketing.  If you provide excellent service to these two new customers, they may also ‘sing your praises’ to people they know, which is how word of mouth marketing continues to grow and positively impact your business.

Well word of mouth marketing has changed . . .

As we developed new technologies for travel and communication, the method and speed of sharing our experiences with others has also changed. We move differently, and faster, alongside those evolving travel and communication methods.

The Internet is one of those more recent communication methods.  As the Internet grew, its content became less predominantly that of educational institutions, governments or businesses producing content directed at organizations and individuals.  Somewhere along the way,other online environments started popping up—online customer review sites and other sites where many people—particularly consumers—were able to communicate with many other peoples.  These online environments were social networking sites.  The one-to-many and many-to-many models of communication that occur within these evironments are the essence of the power of social media, also known as social networking.

New technologies developed and new ideas for online social communications were launched or added to existing online environments.  These online environments/venues/platforms where many people were sharing their thoughts and opinions with many other people came to be referred to as social networking and finally “social media.” What matters to you, as a business owner, is that online social media is a predominating force on the Internet.  It has also become a predominating force in commercial business, education, community development even government, and other organizations.

Word of mouth marketing has gone electronic. Word of mouth is no longer only a one-to-one or a one-to-few-person sharing of a positive or negative experience with a merchant. Word of mouth marketing is now
– email;
– it’s online customer review sites.
– It’s consumers responding to articles or posts on blogs saying what they like and do not like about items, products, services, and businesses.
– It’s consumers publishing their opinions on your business blog, if you have one.  If you don’t a business blog or don’t allow comments on your blog, consumers will post their thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Yelp, via a text message to friends, and/or on a consumer blog.
– Word of mouth has become “Word of MOUSE” . . . communication to many via one, or more, electronic mediums!

Social media is an incredible opportunity to reach more potential customers than you could possibly reach otherwise.  As a small business owner, proper utilization and attention to social media channels appropriate for your business, is the single largest game-changing tool you could wield!

One advantage that small businesses have over larger businesses, when it comes to utilizing social media marketing is that they can be more agile in their decision making.  Small businesses don’t have to weave through four to six committees before choosing to utilize a marketing strategy or modify a tactic within a strategy to put that adjustment into action.

If you’re thinking, “Sure, that’s fine for businesses with a young adult demographic or young family demographics.  But the larger part of my target audience is mature adults, even 50+ years old.” Well, did you know there was a greater than 100% increase in Facebook users aged 55-64 and nearly a 150% increase in Twitter users for that same age group over the last twelve months? What are your thoughts for your potential customers NOW?

Make social media marketing work for your business.  Start by develop content-rich, customer-focused marketing messages, then deliver those newly re-focused messages via an interlaced social media marketing strategy appropriate for your business industry and business culture.  This approach allows social media marketing to do more for your business growth than any other single methodology of marketing.  If you are thinking, “What am I supposed to do if my budget won’t allow for a full social media marketing campaign right now?”  If that’s your current situation, you work-up or work with a social media marketing consultant to develop a plan for your business that will happen in stages. Beginning with one or two social media channels–channels that you OWN.  Then bring on new marketing channels as you are ready for them. The point is to get STARTED. Social media marketing is no longer a luxury business consideration. As of 2013, it has become a marketing necessity for business growth.

Next time we will address Step 2 Human Nature and Negative Word of MOUSE Marketing, as we lay the foundation of steps to redeveloping a customer-focused marketing campaign to deliver across appropriate social media channels.

12 Steps to Effective Online Marketing

Step 1 – Why Social Media Is YOUR Most Powerful Marketing Tool
Step 2 – Human Nature And Negative Word of MOUSE Marketing
Step 3 – Great Examples of the Power of Social Media Marketing
Step 4 – What’s Missing From Traditional Marketing Advertising
Step 5 – Anatomy of a Customer-Focused Marketing Message
Step 6 – Be Clear Exactly Who You’re Marketing To
Step 7 – Adding “Story” To Make YOUR Marketing Memorable
Step 8 – Boost Your Business Providing 1 or 2 Resources WITHOUT Selling
Step 9 – YOUR “Business Voice” What it is; why it’s important
Step 10 – A Sampler of Social Media Types/Channels
Step 11 – Which Social Media Will Work for Your Business
Step 12 – Working Social Media Into YOUR Regular Business Operations

Tune in to The Word of MOUSE Blog Show on iTunes, the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month for MORE Word of MOUSE!

Questions?  Go to WordOfMouseBlog.com

Go to MIYPmarketing.com for more resources for YOUR small business!

Vivianne “Viver” Winters Israel Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.