Word-of-mouth is the process where ordinary members of the public start to talk (online or offline) about your business. It is a form of publicity that you have very little control over, however, in most cases, it is free. It is hard to manipulate word-of-mouth chatter, as it is very unpredictable, but it does have the potential to help a business grow; here are a few reasons why.
Keeps your business at the front of peoples’ minds
Any form of advertising and publicity is good for keeping your business at the front of peoples’ minds. The worst thing to happen to a business is complete oblivion. This is why people say that any sort of publicity is good publicity. Word of mouth dissemination may have a big or small area of effect, but it is free and may occur spontaneously without any input from yourself.
You can affect what is said and plant ideas
With word-of-mouth marketing, you are able to take up a position that starts a buzz both online and offline. You may pretend that you have nothing to do with your company, and start talking about your company. You may be able to engage people enough so that they start talking about you too. This is a lot easier to do online, since nobody instantly knows whom you work for, so they have no immediate reason to suspect that what you are saying is biased in any way.
It can make bad news work to your credit
Not all bad news is bad for your business when word-of-mouth is involved. For example, if your company undergoes a little bit of bad luck (such as a warehouse fire), then you get a little bit of free publicity, and maybe even a little bit of public sympathy. This will become more prevalent as people start to talk about your business.
If your business has started to undergo a little bit of a reputation crisis, there are times when word-of-mouth will come to your rescue. Sometimes, public opinion will start to shift in your direction because of the conversations people are having about your business, both online and offline. In some cases, your loyal customers will try to come to your rescue and start defending you in public and online.
It puts creditably into the hands of people with no incentive to lie
If you are not the one orchestrating the word-of-mouth as it happens, then the people who are taking part are the ones risking their credibility. For example, if one person tells another that your business sells the best product, then it is their credibility at that is at stake and not yours. People who discuss your business will also have no reason to lie, since they have nothing to gain from your business by lying.
It is possible to gain referral business via word-of-mouth
This is one of the many good reasons why you should give a very good product or very good service when you conduct your business. Referrals are often given via some form or word-of-mouth. So, if you can encourage people to give referrals, or incentivize the process, then word-of-mouth will work well for you.
In many cases, doing a good or excellent job is not enough to stimulate any referral word-of-mouth chatter. People expect a good and/or excellent job and/or product; because that is the reason they are paying you. You will need to go above and beyond the call of duty in order to have people talk about you in positive light, and to have people give other people referrals to your business. Resolving any consumer problems quickly and then over compensating a customer is a good way of turning potential negative word-of-mouth into good word-of-mouth.
You can give people things to talk about with very little investment at your end
You can spread rumors and talking points yourself. You do not need to run adverts in order to kick off a session of word-of-mouth discussion. Obviously, there are adverts that do start a lot of word-of-mouth chatter (see the Super Bowl adverts on TV), but for the most part, all you need to do is start chatting, online or offline, about your business and people will tend to join suit.
Pretend to be another person when talking to influential people, and mention how good your company or business is. You can do the same online with fake social media profiles and alternate email addresses. All you need to do is talk about your business in a positive light, but not too positive or you may blow your cover. People need to believe that you have nothing to gain from telling them how great your company or your products are. If people know that you work for the company, or own the company, then they are going to mistrust your opinion because you have a vested interest in the success of the company.
Author bio: Korah Morrison, working for College-Paper.org – best student’s helper.