Word of Mouth Driven by Personal Experience Increases Likelihood to Purchase
Following up on my last blog about Activating Word of Mouth, I want to continue to discuss the unstoppable trend that WOM influence continues to grow. Consumers increasingly want to know what other people have to say about a brand, more than what the brand has to say about a brand.
The smart response to this change is to facilitate conversations with the actual users of our products and services to tell our story for us on social media.
In a presentation entitled “All Earned Media is Not Created Equal: Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets via Experience-Driven Social Marketing“, the argument was successfully made that personal experience does create more powerful social marketing. We know, from studies done by consulting firms like Keller Fay that WOM conversations driven by personal experience increases likelihood to purchase.
So, let’s think about that a bit. We want to get people to talk about our brands. Great. We get them to retweet or get them to Like our Facebook Page. Those activities are great, but the vitriol of a bad Yelp review is enough to explain how a bad or good personal experience can drive even more powerful social marketing and influence purchase behavior.
What that example says to me is that it’s pretty important to focus on activating and faciliatating social WOM at both point-of-purchase and post-purchase. WOM driven by personal experience carries great value to potential new customers. It carries the weight of advocacy, and it also bears a relationship with customer retention.
How can we activate WOM by those that have experienced our services?
Give your buyers the opportunity to tell their social networks that they purchased your amazing new widget. Here are a few ways:
- Set up social check-out
- Send a follow up email with a request for reviewing or rating your product or customer service
- Send a follow-up survey
- Ask buyers to let others know what they think about your product and give them a coupon or special discount to share with their friends
- If you think you have enough advocates, develop a campaign for buyers to submit photos or videos of themselves using the product.
- Make sure you’re on Yelp and Travelocity and other reivew sites and thank and respond to customers when they provide feedback – both good and bad.
When you provide channels for buyers and customers to create WOM based on personal experience, you’re creating the most powerful marketing possible.
Have you made experience-driven social marketing a priority for your business?