Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. According to the Nielson Ratings, people trust referrals from friends and family 92% more than any other type of advertising. Why? Because people trust the source of the referral. Traditional media advertising- be it print, television, radio, or cold calling- has traditionally been viewed with skepticism; it is, after all, the company’s view of itself. When you’re getting a review from someone else, you are getting their firsthand experience.
So how does a website fit into all of this? Your website provides the background that a simple word of mouth referral does not. A word of mouth referral is only a few sentences long and consists mostly of personal experience. It doesn’t consistently go into the services that your business offers or the qualities that make it better than the rest. Having an informative, easily navigable website makes the conversion from word-of-mouth to active customer much more smooth.
Social media posts also count as word-of-mouth referrals. When a customer posts on their social media accounts that they had a favorable experience with yourcompany.com and posts a link, make sure you respond! Take a few minutes to thank them for their review on the social media platform that they used. The one-on-one contact will make your customer feel heard and the interaction on your customer’s post will show their followers the same. According MarketForce Information, 81% of social media users are influenced by their friends’ social media posts in what they purchase and look for.
This is why networking is so important in the business world – it really is who you know. So get those nice new business cards with your website on them and get out into the world!