Word of mouth marketing is gaining in popularity as the “oldest form of advertising” reaches warp speed online and other people’s opinion and feedback before trying out a product or service are readily sought. People are getting smarter – they don’t easily get led by advertising and marketing claims that a company makes. More and more, they do their research online to hear what other consumers are saying about a product or service.
Channels for positive word of mouth
So how do brands and businesses ensure that they create a positive word of mouth for their products and services online? Though there are many different tools that you can utilize, one social media tool that has made itself popular for word of mouth marketing is Twitter.
The great thing about Twitter is the fact that it helps you build and maintain relationships with your customers and audience. Though you may think that 140 characters is kind of limiting, it actually helps you deliver clear, concise messages to your customers and makes it easy for them to respond.
And the best thing about Twitter is the fact that you can easily deliver your message to hundreds, even thousands of your followers. And these followers can easily “retweet” your message so it reaches their followers, so you’re effectively spreading the word to people who aren’t even your direct followers.
Spread the word about your brand
With Twitter, it’s really become easy to spread the word about your brand. And that’s only one of the viral effects of Twitter. There are a lot more ways that this platform can help your brand become more well-known.
Here are some tips for using Twitter to create a positive word of mouth around your business or brand:
Establish a good following
Though following a lot of people and reading their tweets is a good way to establish yourself on Twitter, the more important part is getting these people to follow you and read your tweets as well.
First, it’s important that you get your profile completely set up, so that anyone you follow or who visits your page can know more about your brand, and can consider following you.
Next, make sure people know you have a Twitter profile so they can follow you there. Place “Follow” buttons on your website pages and on your blog, as well as your other social media accounts.
It’s important that you don’t merely use Twitter for promotional purposes, as this will more likely make people “unfollow” you. You want to make sure you offer good, useful content that people will get value from.
In fact, for businesses I recommend that instead of placing your website on your Twitter profile use your Facebook page link. Twitter is far too chatty a platform to leave and hit the stiffness of a website. Facebook, with it’s 420 character status updates, provides a much better forum to decompress from the high velocity of Twitter yet still have interaction. Or, link it to your Google+profile – again, it provides “interaction”.
Interact with your network
The important thing to remember about Twitter is the fact that it helps you build relationships, so it’s essential that you interact with your network in two-way conversations.
Refrain from incessantly posting tweets and hope that people respond. Monitor your Twitter stream, comment on what other people are saying, respond to replies and comments of your tweets, and retweet content that you find useful and interesting. This makes you an effective participant in the community, leading to more users knowing and engaging with you and your brand.
Utilize the Twitter “Favorites” feature
Did you know that when you hover over a tweet on your Twitter stream, you have the option of placing it in your “Favorites” section? A good way to create a positive word of mouth about your brand is to save positive tweets that other people have written about your company. The favorites section is your living, breathing testimonials page. You can effectively build up a great list of public testimonials about your brand, which you can show to potential clients or contacts who show and interest in you oryour products or services.
Use Twitter Search to monitor your company and common industry terms
One of the features Twitter offers is the ability to search for people mentioning your name or company, as well as industry terms that can help you identify prospects. Monitor what people are saying about your brand and respond to them when appropriate. And when you do a search for industry terms, make sure to establish a dialogue with people you can see that you have a common ground with. You never know who your next client, customer or business partner could be.
Develop relationships with the media an industry networks
An excellent way to help spread the word about your brand is to interact with media and industry networks. Stop and think for a moment where do the people who would hire or secure your services spend the most time in a large size audience? Look for industry specific networks by utilizing a search of #hashtags and jump into conversations they’re having during their industry conference or even regularly scheduled twitter chats.
Forging relationships, take times and interaction for people to sample your character and competence. This fast paced platform accelerates the relationship building process. See you in the Twitterverse!
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog and is also the CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.