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Published on December 23rd, 2009 | by Janine Popick

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Lessons in Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word of Mouth SupergeniusLast week I attended the Word-of-Mouth Supergenius Conference that was put on by our  friend Andy Sernovitz from gaspedal in Chicago. This conference with its 12 how-to classes, 6 author lunches and 12 real-world case studies was packed with word-of-mouth advice.

Instead of writing paragraph after paragraph about word-of-mouth I want to use my 140-character limit on Twitter to help pass on some of the lessons I learned in word-of-mouth marketing. This is what my conference looked like from @VR4SmallBiz’s point of view.

Tweet 1: Word of mouth companies build the experience not just the product. Fill your email will insights and make it engaging. #supergenius

For companies that are trying to boost word-of-mouth with their email marketing campaigns you need to think about the bigger picture. Ask yourself this question: how does your product or service fit into your customer’s life? Try sending out an email marketing campaign that talks more about your customer’s problem and how your product or service can solve it rather than what your product or service is all about.

Tweet 2: To create word of mouth on zero budget be able to improvise. Small businesses have a leg up b/c of this – use it. #supergenius

I am a really big fan of plans. I think when you make a list and map it to a calendar more things get accomplished. But when you are trying to increase your word-of-mouth you can’t tie yourself to your plan. If an idea or opportunity arises you need to be able to act on it and make alterations to your plan quickly. Missed opportunities happen all the time in word-of-mouth marketing because companies can be slow to react.

Tweet 3: To get ideas for word of mouth marketing first think ‘Where do you touch your customers?’ #supergenius

Many businesses have a type of pipeline for their customers. First the customer finds out who you are. Next they decide they like you. Then a type of trust forms and they make a purchase from you. For each of these stages to happen there are many different ways that you come in contact with your customer, through avenues like advertising, customer support and email marketing. Outline all of your points of contact and see where you need to make improvements. For someone to pass on the name of your company to one of their friends you need to impress them with all of our touchpoints.

Tweet 4: RT @pgillin: How to stay safe with WOM: Careful who you hire. You’re responsible for agency’s transgressions. @sernovitz #supergenius

Tweet 5: Disclosure Tool Kit from @gaspedal is a free checklist that can help businesses create a social media policy http://bit.ly/8N7ggc

These two tweets allude to certain legal ramifications of social media. The Federal Trade Commission created an act in October that affects testimonial advertisements, bloggers and endorsements.  To read more about this click here.

In addition, the company that hosted the conference has published a checklist for creating a social media policy. If you follow this checklist it will make sure that you cover all your bases. Download the Disclosure Took Kit from gaspedal.

Tweet 6: “Not everyone can use your product, but everyone can talk about your company.” @saulcolt on WOM campaign ideas #supergenius

Word-of-mouth marketing takes a level of creativity. To be able to have a successful campaign you need to have a great idea that you have researched. One of the best lessons I’ve learned was the power of connection.

What does connection mean here? Simply start with a list of all the connections you could make to your product or service. For example, if you own a shoe store, the connections your product has could be feet, walking, running, shopping, closets, and shoe boxes. What if your shoe store printed instructions on what to do with your shoeboxes after your customers get home? I did a simple search in Google for “do-it-yourself projects with shoeboxes” and I found results that showed a shoebox ribbon dispenser, a photo soft box made out of a shoe box, shoebox speakers, and a shoebox charging station (You have to check this one out). The possibilities are endless and something this simple can create powerful word-of mouth-marketing for you

Tweet 7: Word of Mouth Marketing Tip: If you aren’t having fun no one is going to talk about you – from @sernovitz #supergenius

This tweet pretty much speaks for itself. When you are thinking word-of-mouth marketing make sure you are having fun and the people you want to pass on your message are having fun too.

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About the Author

is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse.



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