Every small business owner knows that the success of a business heavily relies on the amount of referrals that you get. Positive word of mouth marketing is the the most powerful way to grow your business. A study done by Ambassador says that 82% of Americans say that they seek the recommendations of friends and family when considering a purchase. That's a big deal! People will trust what others say more than they trust what you say. This is why Yelp is really important for small businesses.
Here are 4 ways to increase your word of mouth referrals.
Build Relationships With Business Owners
A very practical way to increase your word of mouth referrals is build relationships with other small business owners. You can use your buyer persona information to find other places that your ideal customers are shopping and connect with those businesses (see Where To Start When Branding Your Local Business). For example, if you are a flooring company, look to connect with plumbers, electricians, and other business like that and build a referral relationship with them. Build relationships where you refer them to your customers and they do the same for you.
Do Something Remarkable
Sometimes going above and beyond for the customers you have already can be a great way to get referrals. According to localvox.com, people actually tend leave positive more than negative reviews on yelp. That means that people are sharing their good experiences. Do something remarkable and out of the ordinary for someone so that they just want to tell everyone.
Manage Your Online Reputation
Lots of small businesses neglect their online presence because they don't have time or they simply don't know what people are saying about them. It is important to manage your online reviews so you know what people are saying about your business and you can resolve any negative reviews if there are any. According to Moz, 67% of consumers are affected by online reviews when making a purchase decision. Whether you manage your reviews or not, your potential customers are most likely using online reviews to make buying decisions. If you don't know what people are saying about you online, you need to start making it a priority.
Utilize Your Print Materials
Print materials are a great way to increase word mouth referrals. When people have something tangible to give to their friends to refer them it makes more of a lasting impression. You can use postcards or flyers specific to a campaign about a referral program to encourage your customers to tell their friends about it. It is important to make sure that your print materials are well designed and branded with your logo to increase credibility. It is a good idea to use a professional local marketing company to design high quality print materials.
Increasing your word of mouth referrals starts by having a good understanding of your buyer personas. When you understand what motivates your ideal customers in life and you know what things are most important to them you will gain insight on how to get them talking about your business. Buyer personas are the target that all of your marketing efforts shoot towards. Before you can do any effective marketing you must have a strong understanding of your buyer personas.