What Is Word of Mouth Marketing?
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Line Østergaard
Author: Line Østergaard
On May 19, 2015

Word of mouth is the most powerful method for marketing any business. All of us have experienced this phenomenon at least once. In fact, it happens more frequently than we know.

Sometimes we are aware of it, sometimes not. Let’s make an example, you need to choose between two products, A or B. In this case, the product itself is irrelevant, but to make it more understandable, let’s pretend, that you are about to choose a restaurant.

You’re new in town, hungry for Italian food, but in doubt whether to choose “Casa di Italia” or “Casa di Mamma”. Luckily you have a friend, Laura, who recently liked the Facebook page of “Casa di Mamma”. Now, the probability that you’ll choose Laura’s restaurant is definitely much greater, because of her credibility. But let’s get back to this scenario later.

Word of mouth is the most powerful method for marketing any business, in fact people are more likely to purchase a product based on recommendations from their friends. See it as a friend’s trustworthy recommendation compared to a company’s highly expensive advertising campaign. Which do you think is cheapest? Word of mouth marketing is the cheapest, but not the easiest way for your business to gain popularity, especially in the startup period. Its impact is greatest when a customer is buying/choosing a product for the first time or when it comes to highly expensive product purchases. Word of mouth marketing is nothing revolutionary, but it has changed since the era of the Internet, especially when Facebook was launched publicly in 2006.

Facebook has a super intelligent way of kick-starting this word of mouth process, so when a user decides to like, comment on, or share content on Facebook, the action spreads throughout his whole network of contacts. By liking a company’s Facebook page or post, the user’s recommendation pops up to his friends news feed as “Daniel likes (company)’s post”.

Ignite a positive word of mouth effect on Facebook or other social medias, and you’ll be able to reach a higher level of marketing your product. Initiating dialogues, listening to feedback, and general engagement with your followers, these are all fundamental ground rules of being heard in a social community.

Does a customer experience a problem with your product; has a suggestion, or maybe an ordinary question about opening hours? It’s about the feeling of being heard by an actual person/employee. Facebook isn’t just a tool for you to target a specific audience, overview of company products, general information, etc. It’s mostly about the social engagement between company and customer.

Let’s get back to that Italian restaurant that we talked about in the beginning. If Laura says that she loves Casa di Mamma, it has 10.000 times more weight than a post update from Casa di Mamma’s Facebook page. How should Casa di Mamma act on this? The smartest move would be to capitalize on recommendations by concentrating its marketing resources on establishing an engaged fan base on Facebook. A unique fan base, that only speaks about Casa di Mamma.

Word of mouth marketing shouldn’t never be underestimated. Imagine, if you could obtain a niche group of customers, without any financial cost. Customers sharing in between friends and family. Now, doesn’t that make it worth a try?

Don’t forget to check out our tips and advice on How To Boost Offline Engagement

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