Word of Mouth Advocate

Your loyal satisfied customers are the ones that help keep you in business through their return visits and customer referrals. For that reason, they should also be your biggest brand advocates. With the right strategy, you can turn your most loyal customers into your top social influencers.

The satisfied customer is like a secret weapon in your marketing campaign. Once they’ve agreed to be a brand advocate, you suddenly have a train of word of mouth advertising that can generate you more leads than any of your other advertising campaigns. In fact, 80 percent of people are likely to use word of mouth to influence their purchasing decisions. Leveraging satisfied customers allows you to spread the good word about your brand in a way that your customer base can relate.

Turning your best customers into social influencers is a process that involves building a solid relationship. Use these tips to help you get started.

1. Leverage User-Generated Content
User generated content is sweeping the web as one of the most effective multi-media marketing tools. This type of content consists of reviews, testimonials, and video demos created by customers who have tried the product, and hopefully loved it.

The effectiveness of this type of content is succinctly explained by Jennifer Roberts, a contributor for OptinMonster: “The ‘herd mentality’ is hard at work here, with people strongly influenced by what their peers are doing. If the common customer leaves a review, more new customers will bear that in mind and leave reviews of their own.” It turns into a cycle of customer content followed by more customer content, which effectively builds trust and boosts conversions.

2. Invest in the Customer
When you invest in your customers, you’re creating a customer bonding program, which is extremely important for turning a satisfied customer towards your brand. This involves reaching out to customers and ensuring that they are satisfied with your product or service. If they are, ask them to share their positive experience through a glowing review or testimonial. If not, do everything in your power to rectify the situation.

Follow-up is a great way to show customers that you really care about them and their experience; it will make them more inclined to return the favor.

3. Use Multiple Social Channels
If you want to connect with customers, you need to speak their language, and today, that generally means engaging on social media. Social media is the perfect nesting ground for brand advocates, whom you can find through their consistent engagement with your social profiles.

Furthermore, you can build lasting relationships through social media through continued engagement. Nicole Fallon, the Business News Daily Assistant Editor, advises business to focus on “engagement rates rather than follower count, and making sure a person’s followers really care about the content coming from that individual’s feed.” If you’re willing to devote this kind of attention to the followers you have on social media, they’ll bring you even more attention from customers seeking your products or services.

4. Ask for Feedback
Though some customers will leave positive reviews without being prompted, you’ll receive more user-generated content by requesting feedback. This can be as simple as sending out an email survey that asks users to rate their experience on a scale from one to ten with a space for extra feedback.

For more detailed feedback, businesses can focus on building relationships with their customers who have large social followings. Once these influencers have tried your product or service and loved it, you can provide an incentive, such as a discount or a “by referral” credit that will prompt them to share their experiences with others. This feedback will be integral in spreading your brand and improving users’ overall impressions.

5. Nurture Relationships
Building relationships with customers is often the easy part. It’s maintaining that relationship that becomes difficult. This blog post recommends asking yourself these questions: “Can you offer these customers special promo codes or offers that they can share with friends? Do you have new products for sale that you can share with these influencers first in a ‘sneak peek’?”

Both of these ideas can help you to assess the kind of value you’re offering your customers, and in turn, how you can keep them motivated to convert to your brand. Overall, if you can get your top customers to become your top influencers through supportive relationships, you’re likely to see your conversion rates improve significantly.

What have you done to identify and reward your most loyal customers?
Share them with us in the comments!

About the Author: Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

One Response

  1. Reply
    Sep 21, 2015 - 10:02 PM

    A satisfied customer is your best marketing tool. Thus, it is always good to focus on customer satisfaction.

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