A Word, A Smile, A Picture………
Think about this. You need to find a new doctor. You have narrowed it down to 2 possibilities.
You don’t know very much about either of them but one has a very public presence – TV commercials, billboards, an ad in the paper, a very noticeable marketing campaign. But, you don’t really know much about him, other than he spent a lot of money advertising himself. But, the office never really looks very busy. You check online, for reviews, there is not much to be found. And what is there is not very impressive.
The other is a smaller, less well known doctor, no flashy ads, no commercials, nothing like that. But, you have heard his name mentioned multiple times from friends and members of the community.
You have heard all wonderful things about his staff, bedside manner, wait times. The office is always busy, yet they will always fit you in.
Friends on social media have mentioned this doctor, shared his information, recommended him to others. He has 4 and 5 star reviews on Yelp. This doctor has neither marketed himself nor advertised his presence. Because he does not have to – his patients are doing it for him. But why?
In the age of technology and digital and social media, Word of Mouth Advertising had become a very effective marketing strategy. Social Media Marketing is especially effective, as it broadens the audience from your local community to people from all over the world, and takes that community doctor scenario much, much further.
Word of Mouth is no longer limited to your local area, and in the case of national businesses and companies, it takes it to a whole new level of efficiency and effectivieness. Where do people go when they want feedback about a company or a business or a person? Yelp. Facebook. Twitter. Angie’s List. Trip Advisor.
Companies can have hundreds, even thousands, of reviews and positive feedback – and it does not cost them a thing. In fact, the company had nothing to do with it, not directly, anyway – their actions, results, business model, service, training, staff,level of expectations, their day to day operations, is what motivated people to go online, leave that review, that positive feedback, the star ratings…..and those comments, those ratings, those reviews are more effective as a marketing strategy than anything else.
Some statistics that show how effective this actually is:
74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. [Ogilvy/Google/TNS]
68% trust online opinions from other consumers, which is up 7% from 2007 and places online opinions as the third most trusted source of product information. [Nielsen]
88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. [BrightLocal]
72% say reading a positive customer reviews increase their trust in a business; it takes, on average, 2-6 reviews to get 56% of them to this point. [BrightLocal]
On social media, 58% of consumers share their positive experiences with a company, and ask family, colleagues, and friends for their opinions about brands.
To quote Dennis Yu, the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company which partners with schools to train young adults, and internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing: “Because when we produce amazing training and openly share our knowledge, this causes positive feedback. And then the friends of those people see their posts/comments, and it continues to spread.”
And, Mr. Yu himself is an excellent example of just how well this works. Just look at the comments on social media sites.
This is an example of a much loved and successful man, working for a popular and much admired company. Now, I have never met him, and I had never heard of his company. So how can I qualify those statements?
By the pictures taken, and the comments written, and the positive feedback on social media, that is shared and spread all over that digital highway. And neither Mr. Yu nor BlitzMetrics had to do anything extra or different or special than what they normally do every day.
Think about that.