When I ask my small business owner clients to tell me their most effective source of new business, almost all of them give the same answer: referrals from happy clients. I’m not surprised. Dozens of surveys done by groups such as VistaPrint, Neilsen and others show upwards of 70% or more of consumers say word-of-mouth advice is the reason for their purchasing habits.
Back when I started my first business, word-of-mouth took months to work because our clients really only had the option of writing snail mail, using the phone, or talking face to face. At best my customers were only talking to a few people a day so the message couldn’t spread quickly at all. Worse than that, I had nothing in place to encourage or remind people to tell their friends about us.
The Internet changed the power of word-of-mouth in the late 90’s and now social media is changing it even more in the 21st century. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more are giving consumers a huge voice that realistically reaches thousands and perhaps millions. This is an excellent opportunity for you to boost your word-of-mouth marketing.
Here are three tips to turbo charge your word-of-mouth marketing.
Like me back in the 90’s, most business owners don’t have an official referral program in place. This is a big mistake and one that is really easy to fix.
Smartphones, Social Media, and the Internet have made getting your message out by sharing customer reviews as simple as writing a few words and hitting POST. In our office we created a documented procedure to get reviews from our clients the very moment they are happy with their purchase.
We simply have a handheld digital camera and we ask the client if they would mind making a short testimonial video for us. Then we simply upload it to YouTube.
YouTube had everything we needed to do basic video editing and made it crazy easy for us to share through different social networks. The big bonus was seeing our videos naturally rank for all sorts of great search terms on Google without any work on our part.
Written testimonials still provide a huge impact in customers buying decisions. An easy way to get more testimonials is to create a testimonial capture page with a site like Wufoo.com. Make sure to include a checkbox allowing you permission to use their testimonial in your marketing.
Once you create a testimonial capture page, you now have a simple way for people to quickly share their feelings about you and your services. You will use these testimonials in all your different marketing mediums to provide extra power to your marketing message.
One way to use your testimonial capture page is to set it up on a tablet at the point of sale or send a tablet out with your on-site agents. Now just ask the client to type some nice things, snap a quick photo, and you’ve made giving testimonials that much easier for your clients.
Many of us include our Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website URL in our e-mail signatures, but did you ever think about adding your social media URLs? Adding social media URLs can increase the number of fans on your social media pages.
Know what else you can add to your e-mail signature? That’s right. You can add a link to your YouTube page with all those videos you recorded and you can add a link to your testimonial capture page. See how well it all ties together?
With these tips in mind, you should be able to get more quality referrals in no time! Tell me what ideas you have to boost your word-of-mouth marketing.