Word of mouth is powerful – online as well

“Research shows that 51% of people are more likely to buy a product after liking it on Facebook and Facebook fans tend to purchase on average twice as much as non-fans. “

I have just read a few articles about the importance of word of mouth (WoM) online. I trust WoM, because it makes my decision process easier if i know that some of my friends already have tried and liked it. With internet, you no longer need to talk to your friends, because you can see what they like just by looking at the newsfeed on Facebook – what a timesaver! I usually “like” companies on Facebook that I like offline as well, and it is common among my friends to do that.  According to Paul Rand, “those who put word of mouth and recommendations at the center of the marketing mix, along with a winning business model, are almost guaranteed success”. I might feel that he exaggerates a bit, because you obviously have to have a great product and some people must be the first to try it so they can recommend it. I also believe this works better for e.g. restaurants and hotels than for clothing stores. But otherwise I agree, we are overwhelmed with so many ads that we almost do not think of them any more. But when the ads become personally relevant, like when our friend likes it, it is easier to actually notice the ad and process it.

Facebook is a common platform to use when businesses wants to create WoM online. I read an article that ranked four important things to think about for brands wanting to use Facebook to drive revenue and growth:

  1. Build your Facebook page – make it right! Make sure the page reflects what your company stands for and use a profile picture with logo. Also make it easy for existing customers to find you on Facebook – via existing newsletters etc.
  2. Engage your fans with quality content – not only ads and offers! High quality content and do not update too often (twice a week can be enough). Make it easy for followers to interact with you.
  3. Find and connect to fans with ads – to grow, try different kind of paid ads and see what works best. Goal: to get more paying customers to store.
  4. Influence the friends of your fans – The impressive word-of-mouth amplification happens when you are able to post content that is not only compelling to your fans, but influences their friends too. This grows your network and encourages action offline at the cash register, where it counts.

Remember – WoM is powerful both online as offline. Make existing customers interact with you online and manage your online portals well and your brand advocates will help you find new customers which eventually will lead to an increase in revenue for you.

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