How to listen for unexpected topics

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Some of your best word of mouth topics may not be the ones you planned for — and that’s OK. Organic word of mouth usually happens because it’s something exciting, unexpected, and worth talking about.

Here are three ways you can find these spontaneous conversations:

1. Listen to what they’re already talking about
2. Make it easier for your customers to tell you what they want
3. Find out what they’re searching for

1. Listen to what they’re already talking about

Did you know that you can use Jell-O to make playdough? Or that mouthwash is great for removing pet odors? These hidden features are fantastic word of mouth topics. Some advertisers are uncomfortable with organic messages like these — they prefer controlled messages. Don’t worry about that. If your customers are blogging about it or pinning it, you know they’re already interested.

2. Make it easier for your customers to tell you what they want

Comment forms are a great way to get your customer’s opinion. But are you leaving room for them to tell you about what they really loved? You may find that something you thought was secondary is what your customers are raving about. For instance, maybe you provide awesome plumbing service, but it’s the thank you notes you send afterwards that your customers show to their friends. Make it easy for customers to tell you what their favorite experience was and you’ll discover a whole bunch of new topics to invest in.

3. Find out what they’re searching for

The search box on your site is a great tool for finding unexpected word of mouth topics. It can tell you what’s most interesting to your customers — because they’re literally looking for it. Figure out what they can’t find on your site and make that content available. The more information you give, the more likely your customers are to talk about it.

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