Most small businesses rely on what’s called traditional word of mouth—spreading recommendations from one person to another. This is still a good thing, but it moves slowly.
Today, you can encourage word of mouth advertising from your customers. This will amplify those recommendations, so more people know about your business.
Here is a list of ways that you can help them get the word out.
1. Ask for Testimonials
These short written statements from satisfied customers are powerful endorsements of your products and services. Each one can be posted to your website and on Facebook, Pinterest, or a small sign in the front window.
2. Make It Easy to Leave Reviews
Where can your customers go to leave a review? Find these places and make them available. Google Maps is a great place to start. Your industry may have more relevant options, so let your customers know where they can go to recommend your business.
3. Offer Incentives
More than your gratitude, offering incentives will give customers a reason to leave a review or offer a recommendation. Discounts on future purchases are always a hit. But, if you want to be creative, give away t-shirts or coffee mugs with your store logo on them.
4. Give Quick In-Store Lessons
Providing lessons goes beyond the sale. It’s about engaging with your customers on a level that makes you the expert. These lessons only need to be a minute or two long. For example, a restaurant can have its servers explain how a specialty dish is prepared. This type of engagement will exceed expectations, enough that your customers will want to tell others.
Develop a social media strategy where you check in once a day. This will allow you to directly interact with customers and offer suggestions on products and services.
6. Positive Publicity
You’re probably already volunteering in your community. Let your customers know more about what you’re doing. This is about spreading good will and strengthening relationships. And, 82% of consumers take community involvement into consideration when they make purchasing decisions.
7. Monitor Your Online Presence
Monitoring the internet is important to maintain a great reputation. Google offers a free monitoring service for your business. There are others out there that are much more robust. You need to be polite when responding to poor reviews. You also need to thank customers that leave good ones.
The best way to amplify your word of mouth campaign is through text-based marketing. The reasons are clear:
Texting is the most used mobile device feature.
People prefer texting over email and phone calls.
No need to download a new application.
You don’t even have to ask for their phone number. With a keyword and short code, you can send them a link to leave a review or provide a testimonial. It’s that easy to spread the word about your business.
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