One reason that social media can be confusing is the “grey area” concerning tools and tactics. Literally, the term “social media” concerns a set of media that can be used for business purposes. However the use of terms like “social media strategy” might refer to the strategies that involve the most effective use of these tools. That’s why we like to stick with word of mouth marketing – because that encompasses both tools and strategies, and also involves the synergy between online and offline initiatives (like flashmobs or meetups).
So is Twitter a strategy? No – it’s a tool. How you use Twitter is your strategy (and I hope it involves more than just tweeting). To help clear up the confusion, and to give you some insight into our business, we decided to pull together a list of some word of mouth marketing tactics that can be used (both online and offline) to market your business. We have experience with each and every tactic, so feel free to ask us a question in the comments section below if you don’t understand something.
Flashmobs – Flashmobs are in-person gatherings that happen very quickly, create attention, and disperse immediately. Flashmobs are an excellent marketing tool because they encourage user-generated content, which is the keystone to Internet virality. If you saw 100 people dancing a choreographed dance out of nowhere in the middle of the beach, would you take a picture and upload it to YouTube? Well maybe YOU wouldn’t, but you can bet some people will. The most important part of a flashmob is making sure that it ties to a message of some sort. You don’t just want people saying “cool,” telling their friends later, but never mentioning your product/brand.
Ambassador Program – Ambassadors for your brand are identified, engaged, and incentivized to provide honest opinions that are credible, increase search engine optimization, awareness, and brand value. The best part about ambassador programs is that you can use participants for many of the various WOM tactics, netting incredible credibility as the reviews/comments/etc. are coming from real people.
Meetup Sponsorships – Sponsoring a meetup group allows you to offer them a specific deal. This is valuable for brands because it is like a more-targeted Groupon, where deals are only given to audiences that really want to receive that deal.
Meetup Outreach – For brands that simply want to raise awareness, and don’t have the budget for full-scale budget for sponsorships or facilitation, Meetup Outreach is a way to encourage group leaders to distribute a message to their group. We research Meetup groups that have members in your target audience, and then we reach out to them and distribute a message, usually in the form of an offer (so that the results can be tracked).
Meetup Facilitation – For events, or brands that want to offer an experience, Meetup facilitation is a way to host a meetup for groups that match well with your brand. The meetup group gets a great event, and you get a targeted audience to experience your store/restaurant/venue. Best of all, in this scenario the members are highly engaged with your brand and are more likely to develop a relationship (if they like what you have to offer).
Is your interest piqued yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.