Word of Mouth. In a recent study reported by eMarketer, 50% of small business respondents say it”s the one tool they could not do without.
There”s nothing at all surprising about that. Word of mouth has always been the best advertising that money can”t buy.
What we did find surprising is that of those surveyed, a whopping 43% said that social media is not necessary for their business.
Ummm… Say what?
It”s very simple. A mention on social media is word of mouth… squared. Or maybe cubed. (We really weren”t paying attention when the teacher went over exponential numbers. Can ya tell?)
Our point is, with traditional word of mouth, your reputation spreads through small groups of people over time. With social media, word of mouth (or “of keyboard”, if you prefer) spreads through much larger groups in much less time.
Take, for example, an at-home mom we know. In a given day, she may interact with a dozen or more people. Now, if she”s talking about your business, that”s a fair amount of word of mouth over the course of weeks or months. However, that same mom has a social media following of nearly a thousand people across the various networks… and she can reach them in seconds.
Encouraging and fostering word of mouth makes perfect sense. What makes no sense (to us, at least) is ignoring the exponential increase in word of mouth that social media offers.
As we”ve pointed out before, your customers are already on social media… and they”re talking. As Andy Sernovitz wrote in “Word of Mouth Marketing”:
Talkers live on a diet of information. Keep them fed to keep them talking. The word of mouth stops when there is nothing to talk about.
So give them something to talk about. Better yet, join the conversation.
And take word of mouth to the next level… squared, cubed, whatever.
(With sincere apologies to Mrs. Rolley for not paying better attention to exponential numbers in class. Blame us, not her.)