08/11/2013

By Flora Busby, Social Media Manager at Xuber

Word of mouth marketing, it’s the ultimate dream! Having someone else say how great you are (instead of yourself) is what every marketer is after. Not only is it the most proven way to get people to buy what you’re selling, but it also gets through the invisible wall we’ve all put up which protects us from being ‘sold to’. We’re becoming increasingly immune to advertising, so if your friend is raving about a new product/event/food/insurance software solution then it breaks through that wall and we are more likely to buy the product or service (or at very least find out about it).

The best part of this? Today, many of these conversations are going ONLINE via social media channels such as Twitter, to thousands of your customer’s friends and followers.

More than 15,100,000 people visit social media channels before making purchase decisions, and 71% are more likely to purchase if they have been refereed by one of their social media contacts. The hardest part? Getting people to refer their followers to you and your content!

So how do you achieve this? Here are five top tips to get your customers RTing (RT = retweet), #FFing (#FF = Follow Friday: a hashtag promoting accounts for your followers to follow), and all round loving your content.

1) You have two ears and just one mouth for a reason

Listen. This is the single most important thing. Find out first what your customers and followers are talking about and WANT to talk about. For example, if you notice all your customers are talking about how slow and laborious business apps they use are compared to personal apps — write a blog on it! Use hashtags (#) on popular topics which are being spoken about, this will get you twice as much engagement, for example #businessapps. Talk about what your customers want to know about and you’ll notice your retweets increase as customers share what you are saying with their followers.

2) It’s not all about YOU.

Weirdly, only talking about you doesn’t make a great conversation. Imagine if you are only ever pushing out content on twitter about yourself, you will find it’s a pretty quiet place out there in the land of blue birds. Mix it up and find people around talking about your industry or your area of expertise, engage with people and start conversations.

3) Be trusted not trashy

Back to my point about our invisible wall, no one wants to be ‘sold’ to. Just like the pushy sales assistant in a store, as soon as we feel pressured, we usually run out the shop. The same is true online. Publish content which quotes other sources, like analysts, to back up your points and focus on industry challenges. Don’t go in for the hard sell. Be helpful and friendly and ALWAYS respond to your followers if they direct tweets at you. Soon you will be seen as a trusted source of information rather than a ‘logo’ on auto-sell.

4) Boring is well, boring

Make your content FUN! Whatever industry and whatever company, if you produce dull content, no one will want to read it. Look at what gets the most ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ online. Tweets with pictures are 94% more likely to be retweeted. Even if your topic is the most boring thing you can imagine, I promise you, there is a way to make it interesting. Change it into an infographic, a vine video, 16 tweets instead of a whitepaper, or a Google + hangout instead of a dry conference. Whatever it is, you can make it more interesting to people.

5) Give and take

To get your audience to engage with you and your content, you need to engage with them and their content. If one of your followers posts a link to their blog on industry topics, photo from an event, or a question on a topic that you’re knowledgeable on, help them out and endorse their content! Adding your thoughts to theirs will mean you are much more likely for them to speak to you in the future. Linking it to useful blogs or articles means you are 86% more likely to be retweeted.

In the end, it’s simple. You need your followers on your side, so do what you would do in real life. Listen, be friendly and helpful, and when they are looking for something interesting to RT — guess where they will go… you!

Happy tweeting!

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