Word-of-mouth marketing is often easy to discount because it is intangible and the rewards are difficult to track. But its affect on the bottom line should not be overlooked, as it can be a powerful vessel for conveying brand.
What’s not so easy to discount is the incredible amount of information being exchanged online. Whether it’s Facebook, blogs, Twitter or forums, long gone are the days of fence-chatters like Wilson W. Wilson Jr. of Home Improvement. Consumers are readily turning to online sources for information. And it’s clear that regardless of the consumer’s experience (good, bad, or ugly), they want to talk about it.
And people listen. Econsultancy reports 90% of consumers who are online trust recommendations from people they know and 70% trust opinions posted by unknown users.
The question is, are you a janitor or a jouster? Are you constantly cleaning up your social reputation after a patient shares an unfavorable experience? Or, do you face your audience head on?
At SHSMD 2012, I participated in Word of Mouth 2.0. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital discussed when word-of-mouth meets social media, and how a proactive approach can synchronize the two to work in your favor.
Ultimately, social media doesn’t filter bad experiences.
So use it to your advantage. Create remark-worthy experiences for your patients that, through word-of-mouth, will serve as a vehicle for highly credible referrals and recommendations, increased patient volumes and budding brand equity.
When considering word-of-mouth strategies remember the 5 T’s:
- Talkers: Who will tell their friends about us?
- Topics: What will they talk about?
- Tools: How can we help the message travel?
- Taking Part: When should we join the conversation?
- Tracking: What are people saying about us?
As Seth Godin says, people talk about you (or don’t talk about you) because of how it makes them feel, not how it makes you feel.
Everybody talks; use it to your benefit.
How are you creating remark-worthy experiences for your patients? What are you doing to help your brand message travel?