Harnessing the Power of Word-of-Mouth: How Small Businesses Can Amplify Recommendations Online

Harnessing the Power of Word-of-Mouth: How Small Businesses Can Amplify Recommendations Online

If one thing is true about people, it’s that they love to talk, and talk, and talk…. So, why not use this to your advantage, and instead of them talking about boring, everyday stuff, encourage them to talk about how amazing your business is!


How do you do this? Through encouraging your Customers to promote your business through word-of-mouth recommendations, of course! You may think that this is nothing new, after all, word-of-mouth recommendations have long been a cornerstone of Small Business success. What you are not considering however, is the rise of something very important in today’s world. You may have heard of it, a little thing called the internet…


The online marketing channels of today offer Small Businesses unprecedented opportunities to amplify and facilitate word-of-mouth recommendations. As always, we are here with your weekly blog to educate you on all things digital in the world of business, so buckle up and let us take you on this incredible journey through word-of-mouth recommendations.

What are Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

What are Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

You probably already know what word-of-mouth recommendations are, but we thought we’d give you a little refresher anyway. It never hurts to top up your knowledge. How do you think we gained all our fabulous expertise?


Word-of-mouth recommendations are informal, personal endorsements or referrals that a person makes to others based on their own positive experiences with a product, service, or brand. This form of communication typically occurs in face-to-face conversations, over the phone, through text messages, or increasingly, as you’ve probably already guessed, on Social Media platforms and online review Sites.

Benefits of Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

Benefits of Removing This Content From Your Website

You understand what word-of-mouth recommendations are, but you don’t quite understand why you should care about them. There’s no point in doing something if it doesn’t benefit you, right? While people saying lovely words about your business is nice, it’s not the only benefit of word-of-mouth recommendations, the list goes on much farther than that!


Trust and Credibility: While the whole point of your business is to sell your products and services, Customers don’t like it when they feel you are just trying to sell you something, they would rather hear praise of your business from another Customer who they don’t feel as a vested interest if they give you their business or not. 


Informal and Unpaid: Unlike formal advertising or marketing campaigns, word-of-mouth recommendations are informal and unpaid. They arise organically from genuine experiences and conversations rather than being incentivised or sponsored by the brand, saving you and your business a lot of time and money!


Amplified Through Networks: Word-of-mouth recommendations can spread rapidly and reach a wide audience, especially in today's interconnected world where all anyone does is stare at their phones (no judgement, we do it too). Social Media platforms and online review Sites enable individuals to share their recommendations with their networks, amplifying their impact and reach and spreading your business across the globe!


Influence on Purchase Decisions: Word-of-mouth recommendations play a significant role in shaping consumer attitudes and purchase decisions. Studies have shown that people are more likely to trust recommendations from friends, family members, and peers than traditional forms of advertising or Marketing.


Long-Term Impact: Positive word-of-mouth recommendations can have a lasting impact on a brand's reputation, Customer loyalty, and overall success. Satisfied Customers who share their positive experiences with others contribute to ongoing brand advocacy and loyalty, as opposed to paid advertising which may only last you a year.


How to Facilitate Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

How to Facilitate Word-of-Mouth Recommendations

So you know all about word-of-mouth recommendations and why they’re an amazing asset to your business, but you find that your Customers don’t seem to be giving them. Not to worry, that’s what we’re here for, we’re about to drop a whole lot of knowledge on you that will get your Customers talking about you in no time! 


Provide Exceptional Customer Experiences: The foundation of word-of-mouth Marketing lies in providing exceptional Customer experiences. Customers are hardly going to recommend your business if it didn’t treat them very well are they? Delight your Customers with outstanding products, services, and support that exceed their expectations. Happy customers are more likely to share their positive experiences with others, both online and offline.


Encourage and Incentivise Reviews and Testimonials: Actively encourage satisfied Customers to leave reviews and testimonials on your Website, Social Media platforms, and review Sites such as Google My Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. There’s nothing people love more than free stuff, so offer incentives such as discounts, rewards, or entry into contests for Customers who share their feedback and experiences.


Engage with Your Audience on Social Media: Social Media platforms are fertile ground for word-of-mouth recommendations. Engage with your audience regularly by responding to comments, messages, and mentions promptly. Encourage conversations, ask for feedback, and share user-generated content to foster a sense of community and encourage organic recommendations.


Leverage Influencer Partnerships: Collaborate with influencers and brand advocates in your industry or niche to amplify word-of-mouth recommendations. Identify influencers whose values align with your brand and audience, and partner with them to create authentic and compelling content that resonates with their followers.


Optimise Your Website for User-Generated Content: Create opportunities for user-generated content on your Website, such as Customer reviews, testimonials, case studies, and success stories. Showcase these authentic experiences prominently to build trust and credibility with potential Customers and encourage word-of-mouth recommendations.


Implement Referral Programs: Once again, free stuff, people can’t get enough of it! So, implement referral programs to incentivise existing Customers to refer their friends, family, and colleagues to your business. Offer rewards, discounts, or exclusive perks for both the referrer and the new Customer to encourage participation and watch as those new Customers come flocking to your business!


Monitor and Amplify Positive Mentions: Monitor Social Media platforms, review Sites, and online forums for mentions of your brand, products, or services. Amplify positive mentions by sharing them on your Website and Social Media channels, thanking Customers for their feedback, and engaging in conversations to show appreciation and build relationships.


Goodness! That was a lot of words (sorry, we like to talk a lot). So to summarise, word-of-mouth recommendations represent a powerful form of social influence that shapes consumer behaviour, builds brand credibility, and drives business growth. 


Your business already receives word-of-mouth recommendations from your delivery of exceptional products, services, and experiences. So, why not utilise the Digital Marketing tools you have at your disposal to ramp them up even further, cultivating a network of satisfied Customers who become brand ambassadors, championing your offering and contributing to your long term success!


So, now that we’ve given you all this invaluable knowledge, maybe you’ll tell your friends about us…