Let us pretend for a second that you are struggling with a decision about buying a particular car. And then two people step forward to offer you conflicting advice. One of them is the world’s best car salesperson and the second is your friend, who just happens to own the car in question. Whose opinion are you likely to consider? Nine times out of ten, you will choose your friend.
The above scenario reflects the incredible power of ‘Word of Mouth’ marketing. The truth is that we are far more likely to trust our close friends and family, than we are some stranger whom we have never met. That is because, unlike commercials and posters, we can trust our friends and family not to have a secret commercial agenda (unless, of course, they are trying to sell us their car). In the end, it does not matter how much a restaurant spends advertising its gourmet menu, if your friends tell you they have been to the restaurant and the food sucked, you are unlikely to ever go there.
Breaking into the Word of Mouth Market
Despite the advancements in modern marketing and advertising, companies are still slaves to the opinion of friends and families. And this is exactly why social media marketing is so important.
Social media marketing gives you a way of connecting and influencing the opinion of your customers. If you can get 5000 customers to like your products, and they each recommend it to three of their friends, you would have successfully attracted 15,000 new customers. For all their associated hype, TV ads or radio slots cannot guarantee those numbers. But social media can. You just need to know what to do.
Choosing a Social Media Platform
At the last count, there were at least two hundred popular social media sites. No question about it. That is a lot—certainly a lot more than can be squeezed into a website. Because of this, most businesses tend to stick with top two, Facebook and Twitter. Both are great additions to any page, drawing a combined total of over a billion users. However, for businesses ready to create their own website, in recent years, a few platforms have emerged that offer huge marketing potential. The following are two networks that are worth integrating into your website.
Imagine being able to make a collection of all the things you loved, and then sticking them on a notice board. That is the simple idea behind this hugely successful social network. Users can pin images of different items on a virtual notice board and then categorize them under different themes. Some of the popular choices include:
- Wedding Planning
- Home Interior
- Food and Drink
- Women’s Apparel
The marketing potential of Pinterest is enormous. Small businesses can advertise their products by pinning these on their virtual board. Many retailers have used their ‘virtual notice boards’ to host successful promotional games. In fact, recent statistics suggest that Pinterest generates more referral traffic for retailers than LinkedIn or Google+.
By now most people are familiar with the benefits of blogging. It is a great way of establishing and cementing the relationship with your followers. Most people rely on traditional blog engines such as Blogger and WordPress. There is nothing wrong with these, but if most of your posts are going to be less than 300 words, you may want to consider Tumblr.
With over fifty million users, Tumblr is a popular microblogging platform. Its easy-to-use dashboard allows you to post video, ages, and short-form content within minutes from your computer or mobile device. Like WordPress, you can customize the theme to fit with your design. Tumblr is not for everyone. However, if your blog falls within any of these categories, it may be worth the chance:
- Video/Audio Blog: Tumblr’s blogging engine is well suited to handling video and audio posts, which makes it a good choice for hosting your YouTube videos or podcasts.
- Photography Blogs: Managing a photo-centric blog is a lot easier with Tumblr. You will find a wide range of themes that are suited to this end.
- Short Form Content: Planning to post short quotes, haikus or quick updates, then Tumblr is a great choice.
Like most of the popular networks, you can integrate both Pinterest and Tumblr by registering an account and adding share links to your website. Both networks also offer apps that allow you to access the network over tablets. Still, it’s important to remember that having an account with a social network won’t guarantee you marketing success. It is not the number of accounts. Its how you use them.