By Rieva Lesonsky
I know, I know—everyone (including me) keeps telling you that you need to be using social media for your business. If the thought of keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and the next new thing has your head spinning, grab hold of Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking. This book by Andy Sernovitz, a social media expert who’s taught word of mouth marketing and Internet entrepreneurship at Northwestern University and the Wharton School of Business, is a simple, down-to-earth approach to word of mouth marketing.
If you’re a social media novice, the good news about Sernovitz’s message is that social media isn’t the only—or even the most important—way to get good word of mouth. Instead, Sernovitz points out that customers have always spread word of mouth, and that it really boils down to getting customers talking about you, listening to what they say, and chiming in where appropriate.
Once he explains how word of mouth works and how to find the “talkers” you can use to spread the word, Sernovitz shares tons of simple steps for creating positive word of mouth. No matter what kind of business you run, you’ll find something to learn from in the many case studies and examples he sprinkles throughout.
Yes, Word of Mouth Marketing does talk about social media, but only as one of many tools to get customers to talk about your business. Old-fashioned methods like flyers, free gifts with purchase, samples or business cards can work just as well as Facebook in spreading the word.
Finally, Sernovitz eases many entrepreneurs’ fears by spelling out how to respond to negative reviews or comments on social media. (One bad review on Yelp doesn’t have to destroy your business; in fact, it can actually help build positive word of mouth.)
The author promises you’ll find one or two ideas you can implement right away and see immediate results. Best of all, you can do so for less than $50 and a few hours of your time. Start small, get results and build on those successes—that’s how word of mouth works.