Organic vs. Amplified Word of Mouth

Each Tuesday, we’re happy to turn over our blog space to a Guest Genius, someone who can give a fantastic and fascinating perspective about making word of mouth work.

This week’s guest genius:
Chris Kieff
Director, Marketing at Ripple6

AdAge Power 150 blogger

Excerpt from the WOMMA WOM101 document:
Organic word of mouth – "Organic WOM occurs naturally when people become advocates because they are happy with a product and have a natural desire to share their support and enthusiasm." 
Amplified word of mouth – "Amplified WOM occurs when marketers launch campaigns designed to encourage or accelerate WOM in existing or new communities."

"So then, how do we get them to our website?"

This question was asked recently at a conference titled “Facebook Spark Series: Spark The Conversation” which was chaired by Charlene Li.  After Charlene and several other notable social media practitioners spent the better part of an hour talking about how businesses can use social media and word of mouth advertising they took questions from the audience.  The second question they were asked became the title of this post;

“So then, how do we get these people to our website?”

Charlene Li and the panel handled the question wonderfully with the right answer: “You don’t!” 

And it is the one message for all marketers who are looking at word of mouth marketing.  Just think about it; if you and your friends talk about something, it doesn’t involve a place where you talk about it, does it?  (Unless it involves the place – but we’ll not split hairs.) 

No!  You talk whenever you find the chance.  It’s natural and it joins the flow of the conversation.  If someone were to jump into the conversation with “OH!  Did you hear about this thingy…” that would be an interruption.  And that’s what a commercial is – an interruption.  Which is the last way to get people talking about you in a good light.  They’ll talk about you, but not the way you want them to.

Word of mouth marketing is all about blending in.  Being where the audience is and making your message a natural part of the conversation.  Take this blog post for example.  I’m not talking about me, my company, or my blogs or what we have to sell you (well, except for now, but not really ;-))  But some of you who read this will want to know a little more about me and you’ll go to the small trouble of clicking a link to find out a little bit more.  If and when you do, I then have an opportunity to sell you a little more, because you’ve decided to allow me to give you a commercial.

But I didn’t get you to come to my site.  You decided to go there — and that’s the very best way for me to get you.  Because you decided to come to me.  That, my friend, is how word of mouth marketing works.  It’s 100% opt-in, pull vs. push.  And there’s no better form of marketing in the world.

So the answer to the question “how do we get them to our site?” in word of mouth marketing is: YOU DON’T.  They get themselves there.  And when they come to you, they are more interested, engaged, and stronger promoters for your products than you could ever hope.

Learn more from this Genius:

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