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You have a variety of talkers. They’re your biggest fans and the people who can’t stop talking about you — but they’re also the casual mentioners who bring your stuff up in random conversations. To get the most out of their word of mouth, you can give each of them something.

Here’s how:

1. Give raving fans ownership
2. Give retailers a story
3. Give referrers the tools

1. Give raving fans ownership

If you haven’t already, you might be surprised to hear about My Little Pony’s unusual fan base: dudes. These teenage and twenty-something males are called Bronies, and their extreme love for MLP has created an almost cult-like following. So to celebrate their huge fandom, My Little Pony manufacturer Hasboro let Bronies design, 3D-print, and help sell their own models of the characters. That’s giving Bronies some serious brand ownership of My Little Pony. So why do it? The more your fans personally invest in your stuff, the more motivated they are to tell other people about it. The customers that are crazy about you are dying for an opportunity like this.

2. Give retailers a story

Canadian restaurant Montana’s Cookhouse & Bar sent a host, a film crew, and a plate of barbeque to yoga studios, salons, florists, and tattoo parlors in the area asking business owners one question: What will you trade us for this plate of barbeque? And many of them accepted, trading their services for a sampler plate. That’s not just a testament to good barbeque, it’s an opportunity to recruit influential talkers. Now, each of these businesses has a great story to tell their customers about Montana’s barbeque.

3. Give referrers the tools

Stitch Fix, a subscription service for personalized clothing styling, gets most of their business from word of mouth. So to reward their referrers, they give them unique links to share with their friends. For each friend who uses that unique link to sign up, the referrer gets a $25 credit. Those links make it easier for their referrers to spread the word, but they’re also great tracking tools for Stitch Fix. Now they know who their biggest customer advocates are and have more opportunities to thank them.

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