Why Use Social Media When I Get Business from Word of Mouth?

BradFriedman
Brad Friedman President, The Friedman Group, LLC

Posted on January 1st 2014

Why Use Social Media When I Get Business from Word of Mouth?

ImageIf you’re sidestepping social media marketing because you get your business through word of mouth, there are two things you need to hear in 2014:

  1. Congratulations for providing excellent service.
  2. You are losing new business opportunities.

Your work is so good it’s moved customers to recommend you. But even with this great reputation, you are still short selling yourself because you aren't using social media for marketing and networking to let more people know about you. The good news is it’s never too late to talk about it through social media tools.

Increase Word Of Mouth With Your LinkedIn Presence

LinkedIn is the new Yellow Pages: a business will be passed up altogether if it can’t be found on LinkedIn. According to the Pew Internet and Social Networking Project, 20% of adults who actively participate in social media networking use LinkedIn. A basic LinkedIn account is free. Follow the user-friendly wizard and create your optimized LinkedIn profile. Once you have your profile set, search for customers who are on LinkedIn (there is a tool that searches your email account for names on LinkedIn) and send requests to each one asking for your pages to link. After they accept your invitation to link, ask for endorsements of your business or specific skills you have listed on your page. These endorsements are as valuable as the customer testimonial page you have on your website. Join LinkedIn groups matching your professional interests. Read and contribute to group posts and discussions to learn about new opportunities, developments, and issues which can impact you and your customers.

Get a Twitter Feed

Everybody tweets! According to Pew, 18% of adults who are online use Twitter. Like LinkedIn, Twitter is free and as a bonus it is ridiculously easy to use. Take a few minutes to set up an account, look around the site, and you will see why more than 550 million people subscribe to Twitter to keep up with sources they know and respect. Tweet about items you think would interest your customers. For example, if you’re a CPA, tell your customers about the new option to claim deductions for home-based businesses on Schedule A instead of Schedule C. Or if you’re a physician, tweet an article (maybe one written by you?) about how the American Heart Association messed up on the new statin drug recommendations. Link your Twitter feed to your LinkedIn account and your website to maximize its reach.

Think Twice About Facebook

In spite of media backlash, Facebook remains the king of social media. Pew says 67% of adults who are online use Facebook. New research indicates that Facebook is now the most trusted online source people use to get recommendations for products and services. Facebook’s business pages provide helpful statistics and insights about who’s been checking out your page and Liking it. However, you or an employee must check your page pretty often for two reasons:

  • Make sure no one is posting inappropriate comments. (You can remove and report inappropriate posts.)
  • Answer questions visitors leave for you; many could be leads for new business.

Before you start a Facebook page, look at other business pages to see the comments they attract and how they handle negative ones. For extreme examples, the Facebook pages of your state or US Representative or Senator can provide quite an education in Facebook awareness. If your business relies on word of mouth marketing to generate revenue, it’s worth your time to get involved with social media. There’s no better way to increase the word of mouth you’re already benefiting from.

BradFriedman

Brad Friedman

President, The Friedman Group, LLC

Brad Friedman is a “Recovering Attorney” living in Denver, Colorado. In 2010, Mr. Friedman parlayed his passion for technology and his business, legal and marketing savvy into the creation of The Friedman Group, LLC. Brad has developed a group of highly skilled people to work with individuals and businesses to develop strategies that enhance their online presence and engage clients, prospects and referral sources through the power of inbound and social media marketing.

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Comments

This article is long on claims, short on proof. I looked in vain for a sentence like "Studies have found that one year after setting up a LinkedIn page, a typical business sees 20 percent more new customers per month." Moreover, the writer suggests that you can benefit from social media, no matter what business you're in. Does he honestly believe that tweeting will yield new customers equally for a tattoo parlor and a funeral parlor?

Paul, You are correct, I absolutely believe that "you can benefit from social media, no matter what business you're in" I'll read my post again, but I don't recall saying that "tweeting will yield new customers equally for a tattoo parlor and a funeral parlor." In the work I do, we don't take a cookie-cutter approach to the strategies we develop for our clients. We perform research and make educated decisions based upon the data we have. For example, I'd want to know if customers of a tattoo parlor are active on Twitter before I recommended that strategy. Maybe they are more active on Pinterest because tattoos are more visual.

Keep your eyes open for that study you're looking for. If it's not already out there, it will be soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

Very nuanced recommendation for directing people to Congressional representative sites.  They're lightning rods for a variety of commentary.  Oddly, I've seen the same thing with some of the editorial staff and stories on Crain's Chicago Business.  Innocuous pieces of really great reporting covering either a story or a politician with very little editorial bias or spin like you'd expect from a formal editorial page writing.

You need to read them without access to either a) your keyboard or b) anything sharp nearby.  You'll find yourself using one or both in ways that are detrimental to your long term health.

Good stuff, Brad. LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are great places to start in establishing a strong social media presence. I would add Google+ to this mix for SEO purposes. 

I agree that having active social profiles definitely amplifies word of mouth marketing. So many individuals use social channels to validate a brand's existance.

Another suggestion I'd add here is asking your community for content, ie: crowdsourcing. This further amplifies word of mouth marketing as fans are excited about their contributed content. A contest is a great way to gain attention for this kind of effort. 

Sarah, Those are great additions and I agree that G+ is becoming more important for a variety of reasons. Love your idea about crowdsourcing too!

Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

This is definitely an important lesson for small business owners. Despite the fact that referrals are amazing, it's so true that you can get more customers through the use of social media. Not even just customers, social media opens up the door for many new opportunities. 

Thanks for taking the time to read my post Hailey. You are so right when you say "social media opens up the door for many new opportunities."

Great article showing the importance of social media and how they can increase referrals to your business. I suggest you take a look at SociFer.com. It's a service we're working on that allows small business owners to encourage and track outstanding referrals to their business. It also integrates with the users' Twitter and Facebook accounts allowing for added visibility for the small business when they are referred. I'd be interested to hear what you think.

Bryan, Thanks for the note. I'll try to have a look at your service and let you know what I think.

I've got to agree with Paul.  I'm still struggling to find the 'proof' elements of social media especially in the B2B environment.  I find for referrals there's still nothing better than an email introduction or a phone call introduction.

A tweet, facebook message of linked in recommendation is certainly not getting me any business compared to a direct email.

You make some great points John. I don't ususally recommend people rely exclusively on social media for all their marketing. I generally suggest you look at your social media strategy as another tool in your marketing shed. I'm also not aware of "A Tweet, Facebook message or LinkedIn recommendation" getting anyone any business. It's really the follow up that matters, along with your activity on these social sites and the efforts you make to build trust and credibility. Remember, people do business with people, not companies.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

I am agree from this article. Social Media sites are best platform mainly for small business to expand. Through Social media you can enhance your products and informations related to your firm. But most important is that how you can use these sites and make them impressive to reach more numbers of people.

Thanks

Adeyemi Fawole

Great comments!!