Trust: Essential Element in Word Of Mouth Marketing

social media love affairFrom the “have a heart attack and die from NOT surprise” files… marketing charts reports that according to new research from Mintel – real-life referrals are more influential to consumers than those received online.

In essence, the report reveals that our buying decisions are influenced more by people we know and trust than by strangers we encounter randomly online.

Stop the presses!!! (Talk about an antiquated term…)

We need a research study to tell us that a referral made by someone we know and trust is more “influential” that the recommendation of an unseen, unknown and untrusted STRANGER?

Such is the state of existence for the corporate marketing drone . Fortunately when such information is gathered, it is shared via the internet.

Again – this should be a “have a heart attack and die from NOT surprise” type of revelation.    But then again, I guess this might come as a surprise to those who believe that social media marketing is supposed to be magic.

The “magic” inherent in social media marketing is provided by YOU!

Social media marketing is a powerful marketing tool – but just as Superman’s amazing powers were the result of our yellow sun – the power inherent in social media as a marketing tool lies in the ability to make a connection with people – a.k.a. prospective customers.

If you want to discover social media marketing Kryptonite – treat social media marketing like a sales call instead of a cocktail party!

Social media is great a building a connections with people.

Trust is an essential element in the successful word of mouth marketing campaign.  People aren’t going to refer other customers to you if they don’t trust to you.  Word of mouth marketing does not happen without a strong foundation of trust.

Building connections is an ESSENTIAL part of developing trust.

In 1997, Maxine Clark founded Build-A-Bear Workshop, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience. In the link to this MSNBC interview with Maxine – she talks about passion – she talks about  first impressions – she talks about dreaming big and possibilities – and then she finishes by talking about making CONNECTIONS.

Social media can be a POWERFUL marketing tool – when you use it to MAKE CONNECTIONS.

Making connections is the first step in developing trust – the kind of trust needed to launch a successful word of mouth marketing campaign.

Word of mouth marketing is simply when people tell their friends, family and neighbors about your product or service for you.

The stated goal of every Build-A-Bear Workshop location is to make a CONNECTION with their customers.   That desire to build a connection with customers colors everything they do.

The result of that connection is an impressive word of mouth marketing campaign.  If you’re the mother of a girl under the age of 12 – if you haven’t heard about your local Build-A-Bear Workshop – it’s only because there’s not one within driving distance – YET!

Build-A-Bear has one of the most powerful word of mouth marketing I’ve ever encountered.    If you’re looking to build a similar word of mouth marketing campaign – you should know that these types of campaigns have their roots in the connections that have been made with customers!

Build-A-Bear doesn’t rely on recommendations in impersonal online forums- it relies on real people to carry their marketing message to neighbors – to family and to friends.

If you need email scams to sell your product or service – then social media marketing is going to be your worst nightmare.

If, however, you’re the kind who likes to make real connections with real people- then welcome to social media marketing.  It will never take the place of “real world” connections – but it can create new virtual connections which quite honestly, can be just as powerful when fully developed!