Social Media Marketing and the Power of Word-of-Mouth

Social Media Marketing and the Power of Word-of-Mouth

The best Marketing Automation tools have allowed people to communicate in many ways: from face-to-face interactions to telephone calls and writing letters or exchanging opinions via social media, email, blogs, etc. People "talk" and exchange thoughts and ideas via social media. 

Word-Of-Mouth Happens All The Time And Everywhere

Although concepts like ‘brand' and ‘marketing' have only recently been introduced into our way of thinking (and have operations facilitated through marketing automation platforms, people have also discussed products and brands with others for many centuries - and they still do. 

Think about it. How often do you discuss a purchase, ask for advice, or share your experiences with a company or product on social media? You are then doing the same as medieval citizens talking about the products displayed on the weekly market. People talk about social media marketing and advertising these days: "have you seen that cool XYZ commercial?".

Need help finding the right software?

Tell us what you're looking for and we'll offer you personalized software recommendations.

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing capitalizes on the effectiveness of recommendations/suggestions done directly via social media by people to others they know. Since people are more likely to trust a product or service after being recommended by someone they know, organizations actively pursue word-of-mouth marketing to create brand and product awareness. 

Referral marketing, for example, is one form of WOM marketing in the digital space. This feature can be sought when purchasing marketing automation software or upgrading an existing system.

Why Is Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Important?

Word-of-mouth occurs everywhere people get together: at the local pub, at home, in the sports club, and increasingly online and on social media. And there are many reasons why people like to talk about their experiences with products and brands. 

These experiences are shared and often have a very personal and subjective nature. But they increasingly happen in a very public environment: over social media spaces. They occur whether we like it or not. They can have a positive impact on our brand or hurt it.

In the social media age, word-of-mouth can travel fast, very fast. The scale, speed, and real-time nature of social media and the increased possibilities for people to share and express themselves play a crucial role. 

The fact that social media marketing is so essential online is one of the reasons why businesses must be active in social media marketing. They must listen to what is said about them, their market, and their competitors. They must learn from what they "hear" and respond when necessary. They have to, as the expression says, "join the conversation" and avoid social media pitfalls from occurring.

However, word-of-mouth and a defensive attitude to try to "protect our brand reputation" is not the main reason to get involved. The main reason is that your prospects use social media. Word-of-mouth is an opportunity to learn about customer sentiments towards your product/service, thereby growing business with the right social media marketing strategies.

What Are The Characteristics Of Social Media Marketing?

In the broadest sense, word-of-mouth social media marketing encompasses, among others:

  • Monitoring what is being said for social media marketing purposes
  • Engaging in the brand- brand management and product-related discussions on social media.
  • Creating a customer experience strategy whereby the natural word-of-mouth phenomenon is being "used" and "enhanced."
  • Identifying social media influencers and people who can be involved in sharing our stories
  • Viral marketing and activities to generate social media "buzz."
  • Interesting people and their social media networks in all possible marketing goals

All the above tasks can be streamlined with a cloud-based marketing automation platform by automating repetitive tasks and gaining real-time insights from data. However, many leading software vendors will also be able to integrate cloud-based CRM software with social media to help centralize all customer data into one master profile and to unify communications in an omnichannel environment.

What Are The Benefits Of Social Media  Marketing?

Word-of-mouth marketing, which encompasses a variety of subcategories, including buzz marketing, blog marketing, viral marketing, referral marketing, social media influencer marketing, etc., works and integrates well with all channels, media, and forms of online marketing, including "more traditional ones" such as relevant email marketing.

Marketers find out daily that combining word-of-mouth and peer-to-peer programs and activities such as customer reviews, social media-related WOM activities, referral marketing, etc., leverage their marketing efforts' global impact. The same goes for having an integrated and holistic view to enable a unique customer experience across all communication channels. 

Here are some of the main benefits of social media WOM:

WOM Is Customized To The Social Media Network Society

Word-of-mouth social media marketing is a potent marketing instrument. It has an exponential effect that is strengthened by the online communication channels and the consequences of the network economy. WOM leads their own life linked to the social media networks scale. 

The rise of social media and communication has markedly increased the speed at which messages are shared. At the same time, the cost is often much lower than that of other forms of marketing, and the ROI is better.

WOM Presents A Powerful Answer To Modern Marketing Challenges

The social media explosion and the changing consumption have made the marketing-communication reality much more complex. Consumers are exposed daily to an abundance of advertising messages while the impact of conventional communication is simultaneously dropping. The fragmentation of the communication landscape is, however, one of the most important feeding grounds for WOM and therefore generates a significant response to all these social media marketing challenges.

WOM Is An Answer In The Client-Oriented Economy

In a discussion, you decide whom you want to talk to. Word-of-mouth occurs between people who personally determine what they want to share via social media and whom to believe in acquiring information, opinions, etc., in their buying journey. 

The impact of a recommendation from a reliable person, like a friend, via social media is much more substantial than that of an advertising message from a biased source, namely a company. 

The message in WOM is, per definition, customized for the consumer - which is one of the hallmark qualities of good customer service. After all, we talk to others about the product we are interested in via social media. Otherwise, we would be asking for advice. 

Please note that people talk about things that interest them on social media, that they are passionate about etc. So if you want to generate a WOM campaign, you must ensure that this message is interesting.

Social Media Is/Appears Reliable

This coincides with the previous but is crucial. The advice from social media friends is much more reliable in the consumers' perception than that of a seller or marketer. Since people participate and personally create social media amongst others via blogs, you get a new group of opinion leaders. 

Identifying these opinion leaders is an essential job for the marketer. Working with opinion leaders is not only a prerogative of social media WOM. It has been implemented successfully in numerous sectors for many years.

WOM Accelerates The Purchase Process

In his book ‘The secrets of word of mouth marketing,' George Silverman cast a new light on social media marketing. He states that all marketing, advertising, and communication forms should be considered possibilities for generating WOM. Silverman doesn't imply that other, classic ways to see marketing are senseless. He suggests looking at everything from the social media WOM point of view, which provides some interesting insights if you do this exercise. 

One of them is that WOM considerably accelerates the decision process in the area of purchases, amongst others, through the trust that consumers have in the person they are talking to. Silverman states that the acceleration in the purchase process is a direct route to more sales and is precisely where WOM gets its strength.

How To Get Started With Social Media Marketing

In practice, most social media marketers talk about viral marketing, social media influencer marketing, and referrals when thinking of word-of-mouth marketing. They see communities, social media influencers, loyal customers, and social media users as extensions of their sales and marketing force. However, there should be other focuses than this. The critical elements of successful word-of-mouth marketing are value, relevance, social media content, and handling customers mindfully.

And listening to stories is just as important as having them shared. Word-of-mouth marketing requires a customer-centric mindset of sharing and focusing on what is valuable for the people and social media networks we hope to involve. It's not about paying people to "get the word out" or simply "join the conversation." It's about perceived and real value for our business and customers/prospects.

Identify The Unique Selling Points (USPs) Of Your Product/Service

When people discuss a product or service, they discuss the many qualities associated with it. Good or bad, these qualities spark conversations and, subsequently, opinions and recommendations (or a lack thereof) about said product or service. Likewise, identify what is positively unique about your product and how it can genuinely add value to people’s lives. These factors will enable your team to source the right advocates for the next step in the WOM process.

Identify The Right Advocates For Social Media Marketing 

The next component of a word-of-mouth social media marketing action is often identifying people with an influential voice on a specific topic, including bloggers. Knowing who is positive about your brand and could be a potential brand advocate is also essential. 

By analyzing what happens on social media, you can also see which users you should best aim your campaign at and who has the most influence. Through ‘social media listening,' you can identify existing fans of your brand whose opinion people seem to trust. You can reach these people as a brand via social media.

Incentivize Correctly

Once you have sourced your thought leadership advocates to conduct WOM, empower them with your USPs to infuse them with their social media content. Depending on the execution, incentives can be offered per click (in the case of affiliate/referral marketing) or commissions based on the number of sales generated via a specific channel. Online retailers can benefit from AI-powered CRMs by monitoring progress with real-time forecasting, and intelligent recommendations for task management and social media lead generation.

Measure And Improve On An Ongoing Basis
Hone your WOM campaign by measuring performance and improving results during successive social media marketing campaigns. Adopting robust reporting tools through big data and business intelligence can elevate the quality of insights your team obtains through even the simplest social media engagements. 

CRM and marketing automation vendors can also integrate social media business intelligence tools into your existing systems and workflows for greater convenience and centralization.

Compare the best marketing automation software available to improve your social media marketing campaigns.


Share Article:
The right software for your business

Get your personalized recommendations now.