Tips for Getting Good Word-of-Mouth for Your Small Business
Any good small business owner will tell you that word-of-mouth, or WOM, marketing is the best possible advertising you can have for your business. A happy customer is like a walking billboard – customers enjoying their experience with a product, service, or company are much more likely to recommend the business to their family, friends, and peers. Sometimes, however, it can be hard to generate great WOM marketing for your business – here are six tips to help you do just that.
- Make it Easy to Spread the Word – If a consumer loves your business and the products and services you offer, make sure you give them the tools they need to spread the word about your business. Supply them with extra business cards, brochures, or other materials so they can share them with others. Doing this makes it easy for them to share your information, which will make them more likely to do so. When you have a customers who is really impressed with you, make sure to give them one business card to keep and one for a friend.
- Use a Referral Program to Track – Just like any good marketing campaign, you need to be able to track your efforts to see if they are effective. A great way to do this is to offer a referral program for current customers. For example, if a customer refers a friend to your store, they and their friend could receive a special discount. You can help keep track of this by using special printed coupons or online coupon codes – doing this will help you to identify loyal current customers as well as new customers being brought in by referral.
- Get Positive Comments in Writing – It is important to remember happy consumers attract attention and help to bring in business. If you have a customer who is very pleased with the service he or she received from your business, ask him or her if he or she has reviewed your business online to tell everyone. You can then ask their permission to use these comments as testimonials on your business’s website or in printed materials. When consumers are trying out new companies, they often look at consumer reviews and testimonials before using a business. Keep a computer fired up at your location with Yelp or Trip Advisor ready to go.
- Cross Refer with Other Businesses – Working alongside other businesses for mutual benefit is great and this can also be done with customer referrals. Consider contacting other local businesses that complement – but do not compete – with your business and discuss ways you can help each other by doing cross promotions. For example, if you own a pet grooming business, you could work with a local pet store that does not have grooming services to share and refer customers. Doing this will help to cut down on both of your efforts while doubling them at the same time. It also shows a sense of community, which can be a powerful tool for attracting local consumers. In essence, the “partner” business is giving you their endorsement through the referral. If the consumer already trusts this business owner, why wouldn’t he now trust you?
- Thank Those Who Refer You – Getting referrals from happy customers for your business is great, so it is important to make sure to thank those consumers who have been spreading the word and supporting you. As part of your tracking mechanism, you can consider collecting information on those making referrals and sending them thank you notes or special coupons to show your appreciation. This will keep the consumer happy and encourage them to continue recommending your business to others.
- Don’t Forget Social Media – Today, social media is word-of-mouth and you need to take advantage of it. Don’t believe me? Walk into any coffee shop and notice where everyone’s heads are pointed. They may be talking, but they are also probably sharing a picture of their latte on Instagram or checking in on Facebook. This is digital word-of-mouth advertising and today, it has a significant impact on local businesses. Put signs up in your restaurant with your handle so they can tag you. Keep a computer on and logged into these platforms so you can track the activity in real time. If you see a post on Instagram from a customer in your store, imagine the impact of walking over and saying thank you with a discount coupon or something as simple as a free biscotti!
Do you need help with your social media? Did you know STBW is a social media specialist in Conway AR? We can help your local small business make an immediate impact on social media. And don’t worry, if you are not in Conway, we can still help you improve your small business online presence. For more information about our local media services, click here.
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