Word of mouth has been around since Eve talked up the virtues of the fruit to Adam. And since this time, people have been sharing stories for two main reasons:
Show how much they know – They want to be the “go to guy” (or gal), they want to look smart, or to grow their status. (Me + You = Me2)
Share because they care – They seek out connections, enjoy helping others who lack, they yearn to be a part of something bigger than themselves, or they may simply want to make someone else’s life better/easier (Me + You = We)
The idea is to find out why people are talking about you and give them more fuel to add to their fire. Here are some examples of fuel:
- If your customers like to “show how much they know”, host a community group online where advanced customers can help other beginning customers (like Intuit’s QuickBooks Community). Reward those customers who go out of their way to share their knowledge with others with points or a badge of honor (or something else that allows them to keep score).
- If your customers “share because they care”, give them a place to hang out with others just like them (like Fisker’s Fisk-A-Teers. Or support local chapters where members can get together and share (like Harley Owner’s Group – HOG).
Either way, it’s time to get consumers talking to other consumers (or more likely – to join the conversations that are already taking place).