Question: What’s the one advertising te
chnique that is almost 100% guaranteed to sell your product?
Surprisingly, it’s not hiring Jennifer Lopez to pose next to your car, or spending millions on a Super Bowl commercial.
No. In fact, it’s simply one person recommending a product to another person.
That, my friends, is called Word of Mouth.
Over the past decade, the Internet and social media have completely changed how Word of Mouth works.
And in one quick update called “Search, Plus Your World”, Google made Word of Mouth and social media marketing 100 times more essential.
But before we get to that, let’s take a walk back in time, to one hundred years ago, when we all lived on farms.
Frank, a local farmer, recently purchased a new rifle. Ted, his neighbor, stops by to admire the rifle.
“How’s the new rifle?” Ted asks Frank.
“Probably the best there is,” Frank replies. “I’ve had 20 rifles in my life, and this by far is the best.”
Ted’s been thinking about buying a new rifle, but couldn’t decide which to get. But because of Frank’s recommendation, Ted buys that rifle.
Word of Mouth advertising.
Flash forward to 2010. Beth and Sarah are high school friends. They’ve moved to opposite sides of the country to attend college, but kept in touch through Facebook.
Beth will be spending Spring Break in a beautiful hotel in New York City. She wants to show her friends where she’ll be staying, so she goes to the hotel’s Facebook page and shares some of the photos on her own Facebook page. “Look where I’ll be staying!” she exclaims in the photo captions.
Ashley wants to visit New York as well, but hadn’t decided where to stay. She spots the pictures Beth shared and visits the hotel’s website. She loves the look and decides to make a reservation.
Now here’s the magic of social media that differs from what it was 100 years ago: not only did Ashley see Beth’s post, but so did Beth’s 700 other friends.
Instead of a one to one recommendation, it’s now one to 700.
Word of Mouth advertising and Social Media Marketing.
And finally, let’s flash forward to the present day, with Google’s latest update: Search, Plus Your World. Now, when you search on Google, you will not only see the search results you’re used to seeing, but you will also see what YOUR friends have said and shared about what you are searching for.
Let’s look at an example:
Mary is looking for information on a dish detergent. So she does a search on Google.
As always, she sees a bunch of search results for dish detergents. But mixed in there are stories from her friends: one friend has posted before and after pictures of clothing she used a new detergent on. Another wrote a quick post saying how happy she was with that same detergent.
And finally, a third friend has shared something special: a coupon that the same dish detergent company posted on it’s profile.
Mary trusts her friends’ recommendations. She downloads the coupon and goes to the store to purchase the dish detergent.
Word of Mouth advertising and social media marketing, revolutionized.
Top companies are now engaging in social media marketing as a way to spur Word of Mouth advertising through social networks. And not surprising, it’s been working.
But now, with Google’s new update, social media marketing MUST be an ESSENTIAL part of your overall marketing and advertising plan.
Because if you’re not doing it, your competitors will be…and they’ll be stealing your sales.
For business owners still trying to figure out why their company should use a Facebook Page for marketing strategy, here's one great reason. According to a recent Mashable article, the average Facebook user who “Likes” your page has more than double the average number of friends. In social networking math, this means your name/brand/offer has more than twice the chance to be seen thanks to avid Facebook “Likers”. In fact, remember good old math problems like what does 100 squared equal? Yup. That's the power of the “Like” button.
Facebook reports messages from publishers saying that when these users visit your Facebook Page and your website, “they are more engaged and stay longer because their real identity and real friends are driving the experience through social plugins.” As an example, NHL.com reported that pages per user was up by 92%, tim
e on-site was up by 85%, video viewing increased by 86% more videos and overall visits went up by 36%.
For businesses still holding back from developing a Facebook Page, we suggest you stop asking why and start asking how. How can you turn your Page into a secondary website for your business, with plug-ins and content that your audience will stick around to read and interact with? How do you build a Page that can show up high in Search Engine results? And how do you get your target audience to complete whatever transaction your business needs via Facebook?
It's happening every day with Facebook Pages like Sears, Ford, Target and even small businesses like Bubbles Car Wash and Wahoo's Fish Tacos. Remember, these days people want to engage with businesses. They want to like you, but it's your responsibility to give them the reasons why they should. The days of success revolving around the largest share of voice, the lowest price, or the longest running business success story are coming to an end. Fine tune your target audience down to where they “hang out” on line, learn what they want to hear from you, then give them something to talk about (hopefully good!). If you do it right, you'll see the only button more powerful in the online world than “Like” is “Share“.
But, if you only have time to read a few books over the summer, how do you choose from Amazon's 33,000 titles in marketing, advertising, and social media? Ugh.
We filtered through our library and found what we believe are today's five best books to read. They offer you a well-rounded understanding of the latest consumer preferences, marketing strategies and technology need-to-knows. Hopefully you'll have time to devour a few. (Oh, and for those of us who spend more time in their cars or at the gym than sitting with a book, there's always Audible.com)
1. DON'T MAKE ME THINK – Steve Krug
Although it's a couple years old, it's still the best book on what makes a great website. It's written in plain, and downright funny, language. We often give it to clients as gifts. It's not for programmers. It's for the rest of us.
2. TRIBES – Seth Godin
Seth hit another home run with Tribes. He took what
is happening in the world of marketing and applied it to basic human behavior. By the time you finish this short book, you'll feel like you're viewing the world through a whole new lens.
3. THE NEW RULES OF MARKETING AND PR – David Meerman Scott
David just revised this book with new updates, so make sure you get the latest edition. It has the best examples of how things have changed for marketers, along with the new rules of engagement. It's simple, useful and inspiring.
4. TRUST AGENTS – Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
For anyone who has spent a year or more in social media, this book may seem a bit simplistic. But the overall message of how trust drives today's world of marketing is the most important and valuable take away. It makes you want to be a better person (and marketer).
5. WEB ANALYTICS 2.0 – Avinash Kaushik
OK, maybe sections of this book get into a little too much detail, but you can skip those parts. Avinash is so entertaining in the way he explains current web technology, you'll be chuckling while learning. Don't be afraid of the title (or his name).
What books would you add to this list?
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