Harness the Power of Word-of-Mouth Through Social Media
Whom do we trust when making a consumer decision? Friends and family still reign supreme according to the latest Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, with over 80% of respondents indicating that they completely or somewhat trust their inner circle. Branded websites are the second most trusted advertising format, followed by editorial content and online consumer opinions. With U.S. businesses increasing their digital marketing spend, and under 50% of respondents indicating trust in digital advertising formats, social media strategy should be focused on harnessing the continued power of word-of-mouth.
Digital advertising encompasses formats such as videos, banner ads, paid search engine results, and ads on mobile devices and social media networks. Trust in these formats has remained relatively static since 2013, with millennials and Generation X reporting the highest levels. This lack of growth does not mean that the importance of digital advertising has been overestimated. When it comes to reaching consumers and optimizing the performance of a campaign, these formats allow you to create a hyper-focused audience and stay flexible enough to make ongoing adjustments. They also make it easy for consumers to act quickly. Digital ads can direct a potential customer to a link that allows them to buy a specific item instantly or to learn more about it.
Despite the advantages of paid digital, earned advertising in the form of word-of-mouth is important to incorporate into your social media strategy. Social media networks are made up of connections between people who trust each other to varying degrees and can share consumer content that is more likely to be viewed in this same spirit. When a personal contact of a potential customer shares content or recommends the business that created it, that content is more likely to be trusted. Think of it as an introduction from someone whose opinion matters.
Rather than focus solely on how many people are following your business, consider the value of their potential to serve as brand ambassadors. Friends of your followers are more likely to pay attention and be persuaded by their posts than the same content presented directly by your business. Engage your followers and fans by interacting with them, responding to their questions and comments, and asking for their ideas and feedback. Take advantage of the opportunity to converse directly as opposed to delivering a one-way pitch.
Some of your followers may visit your Facebook or Twitter profile from time to time, occasionally liking or retweeting content while others may share every business post. Your most steadfast customers may add their own comments when they share content or use multiple platforms to reach their own followers with your news and products. Brand ambassadors at every level have value, and your social media strategy should involve ways to recognize and reward them all. The sheer number of conversations and the speed at which they take place make social media networks the best digital arena for harnessing the power of word-of-mouth. To talk more about word-of-mouth, talk with one of our experts at Premiere Creative. Call (973) 346-8100!