Ten years ago your small business may have, and still may rely on word-of-mouth from customers to maintain your sales and referral rates for your services.
Now that social media has become a cemented part in digital word-of-mouth (AKA influencer marketing), it seems to have an essential role for providing valuable information to potential customers.
But what is next?
There are companies in certain industries poisoning the validity of digital marketing through bogus reviews, forcing the balance of trust to be shifted away from the brand to the reviewer.
Will brands ever gain the motivation and be equipped to police reviews aggressively?
It can be hard for smaller companies to have sufficient tools and motivation to deal with reviews, bogus or not. From restaurants, to holidays, to cars, we’re more likely to trust a friend’s recommendation than believe a company website or brochure.
The hard truth is we no longer trust friends, family and colleagues as much for recommendations, we would rather jump online for Amazon reviews, Trip Advisor accounts, and social media users reviews of a product or service to sway our choices.
Today, our personal and professional networks are both real and virtual, extending the number of people we trust and allow the influence on our choices be based on information beyond our physical environment.
Most companies suffer the fear of being comfortable with using online connections to grow their customer base. The majority of our time spent socialising is now spent online, long gone are the days of the after-work pub crawl.
The problem is, for most small businesses, creating a basic profile on a social platform, connecting with colleagues, and posting a holiday snap from last summer is as far as they ever get.
If that’s you, it’s time to wake up. Times are changing. FAST.
LinkedIn is probably the best social network to get started as a business owner on social media. They have a completely different function compared to other networks like Facebook; LinkedIn provides a more professional network perfect for businesses to grow a following online with limitless potential.
Think of it as a black tie event with all the prospects you’ve ever wanted to approach congregating all in one place. All you need to do is make contact and provoke curiosity to encourage them to engage with you.
Whilst the black tie ‘etiquette’ rules do apply, it’s an endless place for making new connections, developing a digital word of mouth recommendations, all possible without having to even leave the comfort of your own office (or bed), or spending money on a new suit to go to the industry buffet gathering.
“But I don’t have time for social media”
Poor excuse. Yes it does mean you need to invest time to post and share content, comment and join groups to give your expert insights, but its much more time efficient than using the old fashioned way. If you seriously don’t have time for all of this, working with a marketing agency that can plan, create, and share content for you would significantly reduce the reward to time investment ratio.
In the new digital age, communication and connections with customer bases has changed for all businesses, but can be dramatically amplified with the use of social networking.
If you want to know more about improving you digital word of mouth, why not get in touch with us today and see how we could help you engage in the daunting online world?