5 Ways to Getting Customers Talking about Your Brand
The best forms of advertisement are actually free, but hard to obtain. Word of mouth is arguably the most effective kind for your brand—recommendations from friends, funny experiences with a product, blog reviews—they all work. How can you get people talking about your company and brand, though?
Here are five ways you can get the conversation started.
1. Be Where They Are
In order to get customers talking about you, they need to see you and find out who you are. If they aren’t coming to you, you better go to them. Head to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Use popular social media platforms to join your audience in their natural habitat. Make your presence known, but don’t be overbearing—use social media channels to listen to your customers, rather than speaking to them. It’s important, of course, to post news and updates to give your fan base something to talk about, but try to make the majority of your posts responses to consumers.
There is another place that you can guarantee your customers frequent—their smartphones. Get your business mobile by creating an app. With a high-quality app, your customers are more likely to connect with your business daily, directly from a handheld device. Your company can literally be in your customer’s pocket. Going mobile puts you with your consumer base, every step of the way.
2. Provide a Sense of Belonging
People like to belong to something, whether it’s a culture, movement, club, or ideology. Brands that can provide belonging get people talking. For example, Nike gear gives customers a pass into the athletic crowd, people who enjoy physical activity and competition. Just go online and you, too, can be part of a community who shares their latest running route and workout goals. When customers feel involved, they’ll invite their friends to join as well.
Don’t forget, though—everyone wants to belong, but they also want it to be exclusive. Give your brand an air of exclusivity and privilege, but without being snobbish. When Pinterest was first launched, you had to essentially apply and gain approval to become a member of the pinning community. This seemingly exclusive site made users feel unique and privileged, inspiring brand conversation.
3. Break the Rules
In an overcrowded market with identical companies and services, you have to stand out from the crowd to get noticed. What better way than to break the rules? Every company who follows the same guidelines looks the same to most consumers, so make your own way in the business world, and do something different.
Make your company a clearly superior alternative to other run-of-the-mill companies by providing a similar service in a better, more creative way. Take airlines, for instance. Every airline essentially offers the same service—flying passengers from one airport to another. But some airlines do it better than others. Virgin Airlines treats passengers like rock stars and uses music and pop culture to sell their flights. Southwest offers free checked baggage when everyone else charges at least $25 per bag.
4. Offer a New Experience
While your company may not be fundamentally different from the others in your field, you can change the way your company treats its customers. It’s incredible how loyal customers become if they feel like they matter. For example, when a young boy lost his Lego toy (which he bought with Holiday savings), he wrote a letter to the company asking for a replacement. Instead of ignoring the letter or thinking it to be some sort of scam for a free toy, Lego responded with creativity and kindness. Not only did Lego send the boy a new toy, but they included an extra toy and advice from the Lego character himself. Needless to say, that boy and his family will probably be lifelong Lego customers—and they will tell everyone about their positive experience.
Small anecdotes like this fuel the fire of conversation. Companies that show heart and human interaction win customers. If you show people that they aren’t just a number or statistic, they will be impressed, and impressed customers talk.
5. Make ‘Em Laugh
It’s a proven fact—people love to laugh. And if it’s your company that makes them giggle, all the better. While cold, hard facts can describe the amazing innovations your company has made, or can highlight the incredible differences between you and your competitors, most consumers won’t stick around to hear the point. However, listeners will almost always stick around for a punch line. The “shock and awe” factor of advertising is real, and it makes your brand conversational. It’s much easier to bring up cute dogs or dangerous feats in a friendly chat than it is to casually mention the latest advancements in computer chips.
Take E-Trade, an online stock brokerage firm. Consumers might not even know what the E-Trade business is, but you can bet they can all converse about the commercials with the talking babies. These ridiculous talking babies prove that funny (and even pointless) ads work. It pays off to amuse your audience.
When your brand is accessible, unique, and creates a community of customers, people will talk about it. Make your brand easy to bring up in normal conversation, and it will be. Never underestimate the power of your consumers, because they can become the best advertising that you’ll never have to pay for.
Theo Schmidt has an interest in computer science and engineering, and he uses that interest to fuel his blogging. For more information on small business mobile apps and how they can make a difference for your company and community, visit the App Express website.
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