As we know, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. It is almost impossible to survive without it. With every minute you spend online listening to music or watching YouTube videos, you are investing in your brand. Here, you will learn how to measure word-of-mouth marketing for your business.
With all this exposure, one would assume that everyone is talking about you constantly, which might make you feel overwhelmed. On top of that, most people now have access to the internet, so there could be multiple sources telling different stories about you.
It can be hard to determine what is true and false information when it comes to you. You need to understand how word-of-mouth advertising works to effectively use social media to promote your business.
Word-of-mouth marketing happens when two or more individuals share similar experiences with a product or service. This influence creates a positive perception of the company’s offerings.
A well-performing word-of-mouth campaign will create momentum and growth for your business. According to Harvard Business School, over 70% of buying decisions are influenced by word of mouth.
To measure word-of-mouth, calculate your customer sentiment
A way to measure word-of-mouth influence is by calculating what customers want to say about a product or service. You can do this via surveys that ask if people bought the product, questions about how much it helped them, whether they would recommend it to others, and/or if there was anything bad about it.
By asking these questions, you get some numerical data that can be analyzed and summarized. Some examples include:
The average score for a product’s overall quality is around 4 out of 5. The median (middle value) is 3, so half of all respondents gave lower scores than that and half gave higher ones.
shows that most people consider the quality of a product very good. Only one in twenty said it was poor!
show that most people think Amazon is a great place to buy products online. Just under one in ten thought otherwise!
Show off some math!
In general, as companies gain more positive reviews, their rating goes up. As they receive negative comments, the opposite happens. Over time, therefore, you can compare how a company’s ratings change before and after an event to determine how influential that event was. For example, let’s say Product X received five strong reviews just two days before Event Y took place. If Product X has no changes in its rating immediately after Event Y, then we know that those five reviews had little impact on changing people’s perceptions of Product X.
Determine your customer satisfaction rate by measuring word-o-mouth
A way to measure word-of-mouth strength is to determine your customers’ overall satisfaction with their product or service. If you can obtain this information, then you can assess whether they are satisfied with it or if there were issues that needed addressing.
By asking directly about how their experience was and what worked and didn’t for them, you will get some great insights. You may also find out why people are dissatisfied, which helps you correct any problems and strengthen relationships.
If possible, have someone else do the survey as well to get an unbiased opinion.
Run a content marketing campaign to find out what your customers are interested in
As mentioned earlier, word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most powerful forms of advertisements you can use to promote a product or service.
If someone knows people that enjoy a specific food brand, they will likely tell others about it to gain attention for their own self-promotion. Or if there’s a new movie coming out, they may spread knowledge about it by talking about it with friends.
By being aware of this influence, you can tap into this power to spread awareness of yours. By creating content that people are willing to share, you can help them push forward on your behalf for an incentive such as a free sample or discount on products.
Your followers and audience members will be able to see how much effort you put into promoting your services, which will give them more confidence in you as a company.
Provide better customer service
When your company has just opened up for business, there’s always room for improvement in terms of customer service. The same goes when your business is close to reaching its goal; you might want to add some additional resources or invest more time into ensuring success.
But what about once your business has “settled in?” What if customers are talking about you online and offline? What if they’re telling each other how great you are — and even writing about your company on blogs and social media sites?
Negative comments are indeed an inevitable part of life (for most people), but for savvy business owners, these conversations can be a way to learn something new. They may also inspire changes to ensure that your company will succeed in the future.
What are you doing to listen to and respond to all of the talks around your company? It’s not enough to let things roll off your back, but at the same time, you don’t want to make too many changes before you’ve determined whether those remarks represent one person or multiple people.
“Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the strongest ways to get attention for your product or service,” says Adam Moshman, CEO and founder of Listenable, a tool designed to help businesses manage and improve their reputation. “Too often, however, companies spend limited energy listening and responding to only the very few complaints that come their way.
Ask your customers for feedback to measure word-of-mouth
A great way to measure word-of-mouth strength is to ask your customers how likely they are to recommend your product or service!
By asking this question, you’re allowing potential clients to talk about you and your company.
The best way to ask this question is by using a pre-established framework that has worked for others in similar situations.
Here are some questions you can use as a basis for creating your version: “What has been (or should be) our biggest strengths?” or “What are people liking (about us)? What could we do better?”
Surprisingly, most people don’t mind offering their opinion when asked directly like this. It can even help you determine what actions to take next — whether that’s improving a trait, changing strategies, or looking into alternative solutions.
When asking this question, make sure to listen carefully to get all the important information. You may also want to write down notes so you remember everything later.
And once you’ve gathered all the info, compare it with previous data to see which numbers seem more accurate.
Encourage your customers to post reviews
Even if you have done everything in your power to win their business, nothing will work unless they believe you exist and are trustworthy. When they feel that things can’t go wrong by doing business with you, then growth is possible.
Running an online store or website means there’s always something for people to read or hear about you. Positive or negative!
If someone hears great things about your company, they may want what you offer so badly that they will write a review yourself. Or maybe they’ll choose your competitor’s product over yours because they don’t like them as much. Either way, you lose.
That’s why it’s important to ask your customers to talk about you. A simple survey asking how many times they heard positive and negative stories about you could make all the difference.
Offer a reward for reviews
One of the easiest ways to gain word-of-mouth marketing exposure is to offer rewards or incentives for product reviews. This can be as simple as offering coupons or discounts for future purchases or free merchandise as review bonuses, or more elaborate like gift cards or certificates to restaurants or shopping sites.
Some companies will even pay you money to write a positive review!
By providing an incentive to potential reviewers, you’re creating an opportunity for them to promote your company. If done properly, this feature can strengthen your brand image and help grow business sales.
It works in your favor too because people who enjoy what you sell are going to share their experience with other members of the community. They may even begin writing about your products online themselves!
Making an effort to incentivize reviews is a cost-effective way to increase awareness of your product line and generate new revenue.
Use social media to talk to your customers
When talking about word of mouth, you should not just focus on online reviews or forums, but also pay attention to what people are saying about your business via all of the popular social media sites.
These include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and others. You can read their comments, direct messages to other users, and even search for mentions of your company name to see if anyone mentioned you or your services.
By paying close attention to these sources, you will learn a lot about how well your business is doing and any issues that may be keeping potential clients away.