5 Unexpected Ways to Boost Word-of-Mouth Referrals


Word-of-mouth marketing has long been viewed as the most effective form of business promotion. According to MarketForce over “81% of U.S. online consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts“. While all marketers appreciate it when satisfied customers tell their friends about favorite products or experiences, they still struggle with how to ensure that they are getting positive word of mouth. Traditionally, word of mouth marketing was difficult to manage. It was too random, and too complex to influence, not to mention control. With emerging technologies it is becoming increasingly easy to generate buzz and track word-of-mouth referrals.

Getting customers to spread the good word about your company takes more than just luck. It takes hard work to deliver an experience that exceeds your customers’ expectations.

Here are five unexpected ways you can generate buzz and gain more word-of-mouth referrals.

1. Bring your print campaigns to life!

A sometimes overlooked technique that is  helpful to your band/business is the use of some traditional media, to accent what you are doing online. By using print campaigns to drive online business, you increase the likelihood of conversion rates by putting dynamic mobile entry points on mailers and magazine ads you give customers a new and engaging way to interact with you. This allows you to reach new audiences and gather valuable information on your target audience.

2. SMS Text Messaging

This technology has been around for over 20 years, but is integral to mobile marketing. It’s accessible to all mobile phone users which means you don’t exclude anyone from your offers and promotions. Text Messaging,  also known as SMS (Short Messaging System) has amazing open and engagement rates, and users can easily sign up to be included in your campaigns. Once you have your customer’s attention and they have opted-in for updates, you can send out segmented text campaigns to alert customers to new locations, promotions, events, and sales.

3. UPC Barcode & QR Codes

If your product has a UPC bar code it can be used to maximize interaction with your customers. CPG brands can add a communication layer to entice customers in to an engaging purchase experience or offers and rewards. If need be full product details or product recall information can be added.

Quick Response codes (QR Codes) pack an information punch. These codes are one of many Mobile Entry Points that can be accessed via a smartphone. If you print your dynamic QR Code on a flyer or other piece of marketing material, you can change the message behind the QR Code without having to reprint the flyer! This makes that piece of marketing collateral all the more valuable as you can always keep it up to date with your latest offer, special or reward.

4. Make it worth your customer’s while to talk

Arguable the best way to convince someone to do you a favor (customers included) is to offer him or her something. In the world of online retail that’s easy. Coupon and incentive programs are pervasive, and they are something that customers of all stripes will understand. Offer them a simple discount or giveaway a popular product as a thank you or incentive to provide your business with some word of mouth.

5. Go mobile

Above all, do not underestimate the importance of appealing to the mobile market. Thousands of potential customers are on mobile devices today looking for what you have to offer.  Mobile entry points allow you to integrate your marketing campaigns, giving you valuable data and analytics while increasing your traffic and leads.

Customers will rely on mobile devices to access accounts for convenience sake. Therefore, if your Word Of Mouth campaign is not optimized for mobile usage, you are only hurting your conversion rates.


You read our top tips on how to boost your word-of-mouth traffic, now see how BestBuzz used word-of-mouth to generate buzz for author Jessica Hagy’s new book “The Art of War Visualized”

Jessica Hagy Word-Of-Mouth Book Buzz

[INFOGRAPHIC] What Motivates Customers to Make Recommendations on Social Media?

The Social Recommendation Index, an annual survey of 24,000 active users of social media, conducted by Social Media Link,  aims to discover how consumer recommendations and social networks impact purchase decisions.

This year’s index uncovered the most trusted sources for product and service reviews, and highlighted the relationships that drive the most action. For marketers, there’s no denying the power of consumer advocacy. The common challenge is the who, what, how, when and why. This study helps brands understand the resources consumers use throughout the path to purchase, and can help guide strategic efforts where they generate the most results.

Here are some tweetable tidbits:

- Facebook and Instagram lead the pack for sharing product purchases, with Pinterest not far behind – Tweet This!.

- Trust in Pinterest increased from 56% in 2013 to 64% in 2014 - Tweet This!

- Personal stories are better than star ratings. More than 90% (93%) of those surveyed said the most valuable reviews are those that contain personal stories - Tweet This!

- The closer the relationship, the greater the influence. According to 77% of those surveyed, close friends and family impact purchase the most, while only 11% said a celebrity impacts purchase -Tweet This!

- Consumers are not turned off by facilitated reviews, especially if it’s written by a friend or family member. Close to 90% (88%) said they trust a review from a friend or family member who has received a free product in exchange for a review - Tweet This!


Source: Social Media Link



Word of Mouth Has the Biggest Impact on Purchase Decisions (Not Media)

Consumers are more influenced by word of mouth in buying decisions than by print media, TV and movies, brand websites and even social media.

Top 10 points of influence to engage consumers to buy

That is the finding from Google, which partnered with TNS and Ogilvy to explore how to engage consumers overloaded with information and technology.

The six-month survey of 2,458 recent purchasers of auto vehicles, beauty products and smartphones found that word of mouth topped the influence list.

Top ten points of influence:

  1. Word of mouth (74%)
  2. Retailers and store visits (69%)
  3. You Tube – how-to videos, product visualisation, entertainment (64%)
  4. Twitter (61%)
  5. Company/brand websites (59%)
  6. Facebook (56%)
  7. Pinterest (56%)
  8. Newspapers and magazines (55%)
  9. TV and movies (51%)
  10. Search (51%)

The study – revealed that consumers now make purchasing decisions in the same way they consume content – with the purpose of choosing brands that engage their passion and interests.

“With consumer behavior changing so quickly, understanding that the path to purchase is actually a path to purpose has meaningful implications for brand advertising at all stages along the consumer journey,” said Brandon Berger, worldwide chief digital officer at Ogilvy & Mather.

6 Ways to Grow Your Small Business

6 ways to grow your small business blog image

As a small business owner you are responsible for a lot more than paying the bills. It is your job to make sure your business is a success. Understanding that your time is limited and very valuable our team put together these 6 digital marketing tactics to live by. Weather your just branching out into mobile marketing or just looking to change up your current digital efforts these six tactics are sure to get your creative juices flowing.


Word-of-mouth is a tried and true marketing tactic and it is becoming a hot commodity in the digital age. More and more consumers are becoming resistant to traditional marketing tactics and are instead turning to their social circles for information on where to shop and what to buy. Where before you were hoping that your customers were telling their friends and family about you now you have the capability to see it and track it in real time on social media.


Mass e-mail is not the solution as the name of the game is quality not quantity. Send out targeted e-mails that spell out how your business, product or service will solve an urgent problem for this specific segment of customers. Remember that the most effective e-mail campaigns create an emotional connection to your solution.


If your website isn’t optimized for mobile and tablet use then you are losing customers. 55% of consumers say a poor experience on a mobile site hurts their opinion of a brand overall. Incorporating a responsive design into your website will allow your customers to interact seamlessly on every device.


Once you have your customer’s attention and they have opted-in for updates, you can send out segmented text campaigns to alert customers to new locations, promotions, events, and sales.


A QR code or quick response code is what we like to call a super barcode that unlocks more than just a website. Customers can easily scan your code with a QR scanner which can be downloaded for free to any smartphone device. Once scanned, a QR Code will launch an interactive mobile experience and give your customers a chance to learn more about your business, enter contest, collect coupons, find you on social media, and spread the word about how great your business is. The best part is that you can put a QR code pretty much anywhere including on your business cards, ads, flyers, table tents, and in your email signature.


Is your small business on social media?  The obvious answer is yes, but not every social network is created equal and blanketing the same message across all of them will not bring you the results you desire. The real question is which social channels are right for your business? Before you determine what social networks are best you have to define your audience, goals, and business objectives. The beauty of living in the digital age is that you can track everything. That means you can let the data tell you what your customers are responding to and what turns them off. Social media is a way to connect with your customers on an emotional level and tell your story. Be smart, be creative, and most of all be you.

Learn How To Grow Your Business In The Digital Age!

Feel like your business is a bit behind in the social media sphere? Register for the Grow Your Business in Just 30 Minutes webinar to get all the tips and tricks you need to know to optimize your social media strategy. Click the “Register Now!” button to register for the Grow Your Business in Just 30 Minutes Webinar.

How to Turn your Customers Into Brand Advocates


Word of mouth, influence marketing and advocate marketing, it’s all the same and it is a powerful tool that is quickly becoming a even more vital means of marketing in the digital age. However, even today, getting your customers to spread the word for you can become quite a challenge. Not to worry, we have put together a list of advocate acquisition guidelines that are sure to make your customers stand up and shout about how great you are.

Find Your Current Advocates

Did you know that you already have advocates who are talking great things about your business? The first part of advocate marketing is finding the advocates you already have. You could spend time finding top influencers in your market or paying celebrities and bloggers to promote your product, but the best way to start an advocate marketing program is to find people who already know and love your brand. According to a recent Nielsen study, “77% of consumers are more likely to try a product when it is recommended by a friend or family member.” There are a number of tools that make fining your advocates easy.



Sprout Social is social media tool that allows you manage several of your social media pages on a robust dashboard. One of the many features the platform offers is the ability to search Twitter and Facebook users by keywords and location. It makes it easy to find people already talking about you, even if they don’t use your Twitter handle or tag you on Facebook. You can create an influencers list and jump into conversations within the dashboard.


Much like SproutSocial, Topsy allows you to keep an eye on people mentioning you as well as target keywords. Their easy-to-use interface allows you to search for specific keywords, keyword phrases and even specific hashtags and Twitter account names. The data is aggregated over several search categories including web links, Tweets, photos, videos and influencers on the web. To get the best use out of this tool you can sign up for daily e-mail alerts on keywords, hashtags and targeted accounts.

Empower Customers to Create New Advocates 

You paid thousands of dollars if not more in marketing and advertising to acquire the customers you already have. These are people who are already loyal to your brand and have a relationship with you, so treat them well and they will boost your brand to the next level. Put yourself in your customers shoes and make your priorities align with theirs. Find out what kind of content they want to see.

Amplify Customers who Mention You

Make people who talk about you feel like they matter. When you put the spotlight on your customer for sharing or talking about you in a positive way, this makes them feel smart and eager to keep spreading the word about you.

Return on Relationship

Reward positive action with coupons, free samples, or other offers you have available. This relationship is all about what the consumer wants first and brand goals second.

Customer Rewards with Social Amplification

The fastest way to turn your customers into advocates is with platforms that use social amplification. What is social amplification? It is a feature that allows your customers to spread messages on social media networks about your company using web and mobile apps. If you use a platform like BestBuzz, you can control the message that is spread on social media to drive the results that you truly desire. The social message can include links to other offers that convert their friends into customers, trackable hashtags or many other customized calls to action that maximizes that advocate’s endorsement.

Be Accessible to Maintain Advocate Relationships 

Real-time Response

You don’t have to be glued to your social pages all day long looking for mentions and comments because, lets face it, who has time for that? The best way to keep track of customer activity is to download all the social platforms your brand is active on to your phone and set up alerts for specific activity. Keeping responses as timely as possible will give your current and potential advocated a feeling that you care which will increase the likelihood that they will continue or being to advocate for your business.

Offer solutions

While we know that you are the best at what you do, sooner or later a customer might have a problem that could leave dark shadow cast over your brand for them. Some companies will ignore negative comments, but this is your chance to show them you are not like other brands. Be positive and offer to resolve mishaps to the best of your ability. More often than not, just acknowledging that they matter as an individual customer can put them back on the track to being a brand advocate.


Do more than just go through the motions of social media. It’s not enough to just have a good product and post shareable content anymore. You have to be human and connect with your customers. Turn a like, follow or comment into a conversation and make them feel like they matter.

 Go Get Started!

After reading this blog, you should have a better understanding on how to identify your current advocates, how to turn your customers into advocates and how to maintain advocate relationships – so what are you waiting for? Go out there and start building word-of-mouth buzz for your business through your advocates.

Need help? We have experts standing by to answer any questions you may have about advocate marketing, including using the BestBuzz platform to amplify your current customers into advocates using social amplification. Oh, and our advice is 100% FREE. Click the link below to keep up to date on the latest mobile marketing trends and tips to put you on the right path to success.

Carrie Layne is Spreading the Word about Mobile Marketing to Tech Cocktail & at the ROW Summit

BestBuzz Integrated Mobile Marketing Diagram

BestBuzz Integrated Mobile Marketing Diagram

Word of Mouth Goes Digital

We all know that word of mouth is the best form of advertising a business can ask for, but in this fast-pace, multi-tasking society, not many people have time to sit and chat. These days people tend to post, tweet or pin about their favorite brands or businesses using their mobile devices. Like it or not, you need a mobile marketing strategy that encourages people to talk about you in the social media space.

Sure, most businesses now have their own social media accounts, but how do they attract people that aren’t fans on Facebook or following them on Twitter? How do they give a digital life to those offers and promotions that are traditionally offered once a customer is already in store or purchasing their product?

Tech Cocktail Gets the BestBuzz Lowdown

Tech Cocktail sat down with Founder and CEO of BestBuzz, Carrie Layne, and discovered how you can Partner with BestBuzz to stimulate and track digital buzz for your brand.  

In the article, Layne, a 14-year veteran in the interactive and digital space, explains that she founded BestBuzz to empower businesses and brands in the ever changing world of digital marketing. Using BestBuzz enables businesses the ability to reward customers through several mobile entry points, (such as SMS text, NFC tags, image recognition & QR Codes) and also have access to  a powerful dashboard of data and analytics so they can create and track mobile marketing campaigns.

The BestBuzz solution solves many problems businesses have; such as maintaining a presence in the social media space, gaining a better understanding of who your customers are, how they prefer to interact with you as well as where you need to be to attract new ones.

Ask the BestBuzz Founder Your Mobile Marketing Questions

If you would like to glean more information from Carrie, she will welcome your questions at the Results Orientated Web Summit, Friday April 12th 2013. She will be a presenter at the Strategy + Social Media + SEO + Mobile = Results panel at 11:00 AM along with Lissa Duty, Andra Dunn, John Nosal and panel moderator, Tonya Cauduro.

Are you looking to start a Mobile Marketing campaign or fine tune your mobile marketing practices? Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with industry trends and best practices.


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