76% of Americans talk about brands each day. Is your dealership among them?
According to Nielsen’s 2013 “Global Survey of Trust in Advertising” (which surveyed more than 29,000 internet users in 58 countries), 84% of consumers worldwide say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from their friends and families.
Word-of-Mouth Marketing is customer advocacy- an unpaid form of promotion in which satisfied customers tell other people how much they like a business, product, or service. This form of marketing can take place online or in-person. Customer communities, online forums, and social media platforms are increasingly powerful and often influence consumer behavior. For a car dealership, word-of-mouth can be the difference between a profitable and unprofitable year.
Getting the conversation started
So how do you get customers talking about your brand at the dinner table or on their favorite social platform? You facilitate it. Yes, we’re asking you to be a facilitator of “gossip”. Sorry, mom!
It is important to remember that Facebook and Twitter followers don’t equal a recommendation; it’s what your followers do with the content you are presenting that matters. Give them a reason to have your business front-of-mind, and mouth! Your customers should be treated as key stakeholders in your business, valued for their feedback and engagement. Provide viral tools such as widgets, social applications, and iPhone apps so that customers are able to share information easily. Build a close-knit social media community, target influencers, and present your dealership as a thought leader within the automotive industry.
Can “gossip” be bad?
The good news is that statistics show that 66% of brand mentions are positive. The number of reviews and average rating of products correlate closely with conversion to purchase. It is also interesting to note that negative reviews can be good for business. A new research study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that polite, but negative reviews could improve the way a customer views your product or service. This information lends authenticity to your dealership and the information you need to improve.
The key to successfully utilizing word-of-mouth is to closely monitor your dealership’s online reputation. Ensure that you are tracking, utilizing, and engaging with your customers.
How has your dealership facilitated word-of-mouth marketing?