Nothing Beats Word of MouthBy Kathleen A. Martin | Print
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In the age of social networking, solution providers can spark a word-of-mouth or viral marketing campaign through easily accessible tools. The trick is getting people to remember who you are.
Many years ago, Faberge Organic shampoos launched a commercial with the tagline "I told my friends and they told two friends, and so on and so on…" The idea being the product was so fantastic that it was being sold by word of mouth.
Today, many people may not remember Faberge but they do remember the tagline. If you are still wondering how important social networking is to your business, you need only to understand that the Internet is how friends tell friends about the things that excite them. And those messages get passed along over and over and over and over again.
Social networking brings in the fifth "P" of marketing. You already know product, price, placement and promotion, but none of that matters without people. Many businesses continue to operate under the assumption that a simple Website, a basic product offering and great fliers can bring profits and revenue to their bank accounts.
Unfortunately this is not so. Even an amazing promotion of "free products" cannot drive customers to you in today’s market if you do not have the right blend of offerings for people.
Consider adding these people-friendly applications to your business:
- A company blog. Blogs allow you to communicate in an informal environment. It also allows you to set your company as the expert in your field.
- YouTube videos. Everyone wants to put a face with the product or services. YouTube gives you an inexpensive outlet to share your humorous or serious side. An easy link from your site to the video will drive additional people-friendly interactions.
- A Facebook fan page: More than 200 million users are on Facebook. Your customers are already there and many users want to share what businesses they are fans of and include their comments and pictures. Worried about what your customers may post? You are in complete control and can delete information as easily as it is added. Although if you had negative postings it is time for you to take a look at why.
Nothing will ever replace the old fashioned hand shake, a lunch or even that phone call to just check in. Keeping your customers – the people – in the front of your business strategy planning will always return high profits and revenue than a strategy built around products customers don’t want.
Kathleen Martin is the special projects coordinator for Channel Insider.