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8 Ways to Grow Positive Word-of-Mouth About Your Business

By: Megan Totka


Small businesses around the world say that “word of mouth” is the most effective marketing tool out there. A study by Infusionsoft tells us that 62 percent cited it as their best marketing tactic—almost two times as effective as email, which was ranked as number two at 34 percent.

Take a look at these 8 ideas that can enhance word-of-mouth marketing for your business.
Set Specific Goals
Similar to all other types of marketing, vague goals aren’t useful. Instead of saying “I want everyone to be talking about us,” think instead of goals that are measurable. Set a specified number of customers you hope to get through your doors in thanks to word of mouth referrals, or set a goal to obtain press coverage in two places each month.
Maintain a Positive Image
You probably know that it is important for your business to think local. For small business owners, remember that you are never “off.” It’s important to treat people with kindness and respect, even when customers aren’t in front of you. Why? Because those people in front of you may not be your customers now, but they probably know about your business and they are watching you and the way you act in public. Your behavior in the supermarket or at your son’s soccer game can have a direct impact on your small business.
Build a System That Encourages Referrals
Find ways to reward your customers for sharing their love of your business with friends and family. Offer bonuses, free gifts, discounts and coupons to customers who refer your business to others. Incentives are a great way to encourage the practice.
Devote Attention to Unsatisfied Customers
Unhappy customers tend to tell exponentially more people about their perceived negative experience than the satisfied ones do—so they can do a lot of harm if not addressed in a timely fashion. Make it a point to take each customer’s complaint seriously; don’t make light of it. Go out of your way to find a solution and offer top-notch service that will win them over. Work hard to solve an angry customer’s complain and turn them into supports of your business—you may even wind up with a lifelong business advocate.
Personalize Each Experience
It is time to stop networking and start building authentic relationships. Tell everyone you know about your business. Tap into your personal connections – spread the word among friends and family, and any personal organizations you may belong to. If you don’t tell people about your business, how will anyone know about it? Make it a point to always hand out business cards and leave brochures or flyers—you never know who may benefit from your business’s services.
Network with Other Small Business Owners
It doesn’t matter if you sell to other businesses or to the community, small business owners in your community can turn into your customers—or can refer their colleagues, friends and family to your business. Utilize this easy way to share the word about your business.
Stay in the Know About What People are Saying Online
Make a point to regularly check online reviews about your business. Keep tabs on social media accounts too. There are all ways to ensure people are happy with your business, and see firsthand what your customers are saying about you.
Display Testimonials in a Prominent Location
Testimonials from your happy customers—even if they are just a few sentences praising your services or products—are powerful endorsements and can go a long way in generating positive word of mouth. Don’t be afraid to ask for them. Use what your customers have to say to the maximum effect—post them on your website, your Facebook page and in your advertising. Think of places where they will be visible to the public and plant the seed of positivity.
Word of mouth is the most powerful and profitable marketing tool a small business can utilize—and it’s free. Work hard to create strong referrals, and you will drive your business to success.
How do you spread positive word of mouth and grow your business?
Published: March 17, 2015

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Megan Totka

Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com.

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