12 Jun 4 Ways to Get People Talking About You Online
These days, if you want your brand to grow and your business to be successful, having a strong online presence is an absolute must. Contrary to popular belief, the best way to grow your company’s online presence isn’t always through spending big bucks on advertising; in fact, word-of-mouth advertising can increase the effectiveness of a brand’s marketing strategy by as much as 54%.
So, how can you go about getting people to talk about your business online? We’ve got a few ideas that are both simple and effective.
Today’s consumers demand to have their voices heard, and social media can be an excellent platform for making that happen…when it’s used properly. Rather than using your brand’s social media page to blast users with advertisements, engage your users and followers by asking them questions and making them feel involved in your company’s decision-making process.
For example, let’s say you’re hiring a graphic designer to re-design your company logo and you’ve got it narrowed down to a few choices. Why not let your followers get involved in choosing your new company logo by creating a poll on Facebook?
Of course, getting your followers involved doesn’t necessarily mean recruiting them to help you make decisions. A simple Twitter post asking your followers what they did over the weekend can work wonders in getting people talking. Just make sure that your efforts to communicate with your followers are genuine and don’t seem forced.
Another viable way to get people talking about your brand online is to get in touch with industry experts and/or your most loyal customers and using their clout to your advantage. For instance, if you run a business that creates custom wedding invitations, then you might consider working with a local and reputable wedding planner about the possibility of having him or her endorse your services online, write a guest blog for your website, or otherwise promote your business.
If your company is still in the beginning stages of growth, however, getting big names in the industry to take you seriously may not be so easy. This is where your most loyal customers can come into play in order to get people talking about your brand online. Consider hand-picking a small group of customers and inviting them to become a part of an exclusive group. You can offer new products to this group at a discounted rate or even for free and, in exchange, you can ask them to write up a review or blog post about each new product. This creates a win-win situation for both you and your best customers.
In a perfect world, every happy customer would leave your business a gleaming, five-star review on all the major platforms. In reality, however, many customers need a little bit of a “push” to get vocal about a brand online. This is where offering honest incentives can come into play.
For example, you might consider sending your customers a follow-up e-mail after they’ve received a good or service from your company that invites them to leave a review on your social media page. As an incentive, you could offer a special discount on that customer’s next purchase. You can offer a similar incentive using social media by asking users to “share,” “retweet,” or “like” a post for a chance to win 20% off their next order (or some other discount). The number of new followers and/or potential customers you’ll gain from such a campaign will likely more than make up for the small financial loss your business incurs by offering a free service or discount to a handful of participants.
Finally, there are a number of inexpensive and even free software programs that allow you to generate special promotional codes for customers who refer your business to a friend or family member. StoreYa’s “Refer a Friend” platform is an excellent example of a free program that gives your followers an incentive to talk about your brand online.
While social media no doubt plays a major role in generating word-of-mouth advertising for your company, you’ll want to be careful not to overlook the role your company website and/or blog can continue to play as well. Above all else, today’s consumers don’t want to feel like they’re being constantly advertised to or force-fed sales rhetoric. Instead, they’re more likely to respect and be loyal to a brand that they see as a trustworthy and knowledgeable leader in the industry.
As such, it’s perhaps more important than ever to make sure you’re generating truly useful, relevant, and unique content to your users. This means keeping your company blog constantly updated with posts your audience will find actionable and engaging—not cookie-cutter blog posts that are already found all over the Internet.
The more relevant and unique the content, the more likely your readers are to share it on social media, comment directly on the blog, and otherwise get involved in a conversation about your business. Not sure where to start with your next blog post? There are plenty of blog idea generators online.
No matter the size of your company, a strong online presence is a must for long-term success. Through the effective use of social media, engagement with industry experts, and consistent generation of content that’s truly useful for your target audience, you’ll be well on your way to a successful word-of-mouth advertising campaign that will grow your brand in no time.