We work with a variety of clients–from consumer products to healthcare, apparel companies to high-end construction. Nestled amongst all the differences found between those companies is one core reality that is transferable across industries. The strongest source of customer or client acquisition comes through word of mouth referrals.
A referral is the best compliment a business can receive. That begs the question: if referrals are such a tremendous source of business, across industries, how do we accelerate the rate at which they are occurring? One tool that is extremely powerful to do exactly that is social media marketing.
Social media marketing is an incredible tool to accelerate word of mouth referrals because it is begging for people to interact with and around the brands they know and love.
Accelerated word of mouth referrals over social media aren’t about a desire to “go viral”. That focus is on quantity over quality of connections. Endeavoring to accelerate word of mouth referrals is about trying to increase the speed at which you come in contact with highly qualified leads.
When a person “likes” your company’s post or better yet, comments on it, the feedback is more likely to show in their friends’ activity stream. If someone shares or retweet content from your company, it is as if they are telling the world they align with you in some way. It then allows their followers to be curious about you. They may comment on the post asking a question or check you out in a less direct manner, by clicking on the content, exploring your page, or heading over to your website.
When social media is paired with a content marketing strategy– i.e. blogging — it is even more powerful for accelerating word of mouth. Each blog you create is like a digital brochure, telling a piece of your company’s story. When you share it across social media you are inviting your audience–and by proxy all of their connections–to step into your brand to learn more. That unique URL for your blog is something that can be passed along and shared amongst friends.
Facebook also has functionality where someone can directly ask for recommendations and as you comment, the Facebook page is automatically hyperlinked within your comment. This happened just last night when a friend asked for a reliable home-cleaning company. I made a recommendation and Facebook immediately hyperlinked to the company I referenced. However, it was disappointed to follow the hyperlink and learn the company’s Facebook page only had a profile image and contact information. What a wasted opportunity to nurture the lead by having a professionally completed page.
What should you do knowing social media accelerates word of mouth referrals?
1. Ensure All Social Profiles are Completed Entirely and Professionally
If a referral happens, sending a prospective client to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram profile what will they see? Do you have all functionality enabled that will make it easy for them to take the next step? Consider what your button text says (call now, message now, contact us).
2. Incorporate Blogging into Your Marketing Strategy
Create content that people want to read and therefore want to share. Conceptualize each blog as an opportunity to share your company’s story, piece by piece. Understand that each blog is an investment in a digital asset that is directly working to earn you more– and more qualified– leads.
3. Post Regularly and Relevantly Over Social
Let’s give them something to talk about! If you aren’t regularly posting or engaging over social media you are less likely to be part of the conversation. Consider how to regularly post in a way that honors your brand and invites engagement.
Once you put these pieces together, you’re on your way to a strategy that will foster word of mouth referrals from your customers, fans, and followers alike. When you share relevant content about your brand and products or services you offer, folks are more likely to talk on social media–and more likely to tell their friends directly as well.
If this resonates with you but you aren’t sure how to take the leap to doing it yourself, contact us! We’d love to help you accelerate word of mouth referrals for your business.