WOMMA… How to Get Employes Involved in Word-of-Mouth Marketing! Free Poster

The era of interactive choice and the emergence of vast social networks marks the end of Tell-and-Sell advertising, replaced by authentic Word-of-Mouth sharing, comments, reviews and ratings.

Andy Sernovitz teaches word-of-mouth marketing to the biggest brands and to thousands of entrepreneurs and small businesses. He is a popular keynote speaker and CEO of GasPedal and Socialmedia.org. He is also the President Emeritus of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and teaches word of mouth marketing at Northwestern University. An 18-year veteran of the interactive marketing business, Andy has spent years helping companies learn how to do fantastic marketing. He taught entrepreneurship at The Wharton School, ran a business incubator, and started half a dozen companies.

I get his regular tips via e-mail and today’s #242 covers, “How to get employees involved in word of mouth.” It deserves to be shared in full:

The people on your payroll can be a powerful word of mouth force if you equip them with the training, the tools, and the motivation to do it right. How to get started:

1. Give them guidelines
2. Give them tools
3. Give them status

1. Give them guidelines

Create simple rules and guidelines for your employees on how to engage with fans and customers. It’s not about creating restrictions, it’s about straightforward education on how they can participate in conversations about you honestly and ethically — and most employees are happy to be shown the boundaries. And when you do, start by teaching these 10 magic words: “I work for _____ and this is my personal opinion.”

2. Give them tools

To help your talkers tell friends about you, you need to put tools in their hands — and your employees are no different. Try giving them coupons, friends and family discount codes, leaked information, beta tests, or product samples. And when you find something that really gets your employees sharing, there’s a good chance it’ll work for your external fans too.

3. Give them status

Want your internal experts to get more involved in online forums or industry groups? Declare them your company’s subject matter experts on the topics they know best and help them get involved in blogging, online communities, events, or local groups. Or on a larger scale, try creating an ambassador program that gives employees the product expertise (and the VIP status) to go out and engage customers on behalf of your brand.

Free Social Commentary Triage Poster

The #1 step requires establishing a set of company-wide standards, providing employees with a set of guidelines on how to interact as a spokesperson for the organization on social media. We have created the DesignWise-Social-Commentary-Triage Poster that outlines a step-by-step set of guidelines to help staff evaluate and respond to “the good, the bad and the ugly” in social media posts and comments. Now, it’s up to you to create #2, the tools and #3, the rewards.

If you want more great tips from Andy Sernovitz on word-of-mouth marketing I suggest getting a hold of a copy of his book, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking.

“More concerned with the accumulation of data than of objects…

“The otaku, the passionate obsessive, the information age’s embodiment of the connoisseur, more concerned with the accumulation of data than of objects, seems a natural crossover figure in today’s interface of British and Japanese cultures. I see it in the eyes of the Portobello dealers, and in the eyes of the Japanese collectors: a perfectly calm train-spotter frenzy, murderous and sublime. Understanding otaku-hood, I think, is one of the keys to understanding the culture of the web. There is something profoundly post-national about it, extra-geographic. We are all curators, in the post-modern world, whether we want to be or not.”William Gibson, Modern boys and mobile girls, The Observer, Sunday, April 1, 2001

NetProspex Social Business Report: A comprehensive report on the use of social media by business people across the US.

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