3-Minute WOM Lesson: How to create timely conversations

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Great word of mouth marketers are on the lookout for moments that are especially suited to starting conversations, because they know so much of word of mouth is about timing. A few opportunities you can do it:

1> For a holiday
2> For a launch
3> For a milestone

1> For a holiday

If you ever need a great excuse to test that fun, creative idea you’ve had to get fans talking, try aiming for a holiday. During Christmas, you can follow Jones Soda’s lead and release a new, oddball product. Or, if it’s a company-created holiday, you could try what Discovery did for Shark Week and promote all the stuff your fans are creating. And if it’s April Fools’, anything goes — like this tongue koozie from Molson Coors.

2> For a launch

Product launches have built-in word of mouth opportunities. You’ve got something new, exciting, and interesting to share — the trick is finding the right talkers and helping them pass it on. Try a beta release to eager testers (Microsoft is famous for this), an offer that lets them share it with a friend or two (this is how Gmail launched), or asking them to apply to get a first taste (lots of online communities start like this).

3> For a milestone

When you’ve accomplished something big, use that opportunity to let your fans get in on the celebration too. When LinkedIn broke 100 million users this year, they sent a special note to their first million members, thanking them for their support (and telling them what their exact join number was). How cool is that? It was a nice thank you to their long-time supporters and a great way to get these early adopters talking about LinkedIn.

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