When you view an ad, how do you react?
You could have a positive impression. The ad might be amusing, inspiring, or relatable in some way. Conversely, your view of the ad might be totally negative. In fact, you could even find it entirely annoying. Just imagine what you’ll think of it after seeing it on TV a couple dozen more times.
Now consider how you react when a friend or family member recommends a product to you. You’re probably going to give that recommendation a lot more credit. You don’t analyze a recommendation in the same way you’d analyze an ad. You’re far more likely to take it at face value.
But don’t take my word for it. Nielsen reports that 92% of customers trust earned media, which includes those valuable word-of-mouth recommendations, more than any other form of advertising.
My message here isn’t to stop advertising. Advertising works. Otherwise businesses wouldn’t bother with it. If you’ve had advertising success, you should continue. What I’d like to impart upon you is a greater focus on spreading word-of-mouth for your business.
At its core, word-of-mouth is all about psychology. It’s the inherent trust we place in friends and family that get us to take what they say seriously. Therefore, if you want to promote word-of-mouth advertising for your business, a little understanding of psychology can go a long way. Here’s three quick pointers to focus on.
- Reciprocity. This is one of the easiest psychological tricks to employ. By offering some sort of complimentary item or service, customers will feel compelled to spread the word out about your business. It’s one of the reasons why restaurants offer mints on your way out. The more you can do for the customer, the better. Reciprocity works especially well when customers end up getting something they weren’t expecting.
- Social Currency. Another classic psychological principle that marketers love, social currency deposits that people share/talk about brands because they view it as a way to express themselves. Social currency is heavily tied to social media. We live in a share-heavy culture. People want to talk about the brands that represent their values. Aligning both your brand and your content with those values can really help here.
- Experience. Give them a reason to talk about you. Do something your competitors don’t. Create a memorable experience. It can be as simple as providing great service, a friendly staff, or decorating for the holidays. Try creating an environment customers want to be in.
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How does your business boost word-of-mouth? Let us know in the comments!