It’s not as difficult as it sounds. And you can measure the results. Andy Sernovitz explains in Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking (Kaplan Publishing, $24.95) that there are five Ts to a well-planned word-of-mouth campaign: Talkers, Topics, Tools, Taking Part and Tracking. To begin planning your campaign, you need to determine who your core talkers are—they can be your best or newest customers, bloggers or friends, but they have to have enthusiasm for your products and gallery. Give them a reason to talk by offering a message that’s easy to repeat. A special sale, remarkable service or a new product are all great seeds.
Your next task is to make it easy for your talkers to transmit the message. An easy-to-forward e-mail, blog post or coupon are all great tools to help spread your message. Next, you have to join the conversation. Reply to e-mails, comment on blog posts, take phone calls—be available. If you don’t join the conversation, it will die out.
Finally, take the time to track the campaign’s success. Online chatter is easy to search and compile, but a conversation from friend to friend may require a piece of physical evidence, like a coupon. The winter months are a perfect time to pick up this book and try the marketing tactic. Log on to www.wordofmouthbook.com to learn more.