Any experience a customer has with a brand can be shared online with a potential audience of millions, most of whom are looking for feedback from their peers.
The value in social media isn’t just marketing’s ability to publish content and share it with followers. The true value can be realized when customers organically advocate for your brand and promote you through their own social media channels. Brand advocates recommend their favorite products and services because they have had a positive experience and want to help others. Best of all, it’s done in their own words through authentic engagements free from marketing ‘spin’ or sales pressure.
53% of buyers rely on peer recommendations before making a purchase decision
Make It Easy to Engage
The key for marketing is to make it easy for advocates to generate content and provide feedback about your brand. Here are some examples of online opportunities that demonstrate the Voice of the Customer in an authentic, word-of-mouth approach:
- Online product reviews: Highly positive online product reviews increase ratings, combat negative word-of-mouth, and improve SEO.
- Customer success stories and videos: Testimonials boost awareness and brand reputation. It is the peer-driven evidence of a buyer’s journey that may drive new sales opportunities.
- Online chats: Chat features, like those found on a company and a blog site, provide answers to a prospect’s questions that may increase sales conversion rates.
- Tweets, Facebook and LinkedIn: Posts and comments drive immediate and positive, authentic sentiment for your brand. Live video features provide an opportunity to interview your customer and share their story with your brand in an interactive way.
- Online user groups and forums: Product communities provide a natural place for customers to meet, share best practices and network with each other about your brand.
- Blogs: Blogs can be a natural progression of a brand advocate who is positioning themselves as a thought leader in a space or with a technology. Blogs by thought leaders allow prospects to learn and engage others in a reliable manner.
Power of Social Media
Brand advocates are the ultimate trusted advisors and they play a crucial role in enabling sales in a different kind of way. This different kind of way is the next frontier in B2B sales: Peer-to-Peer Selling.
“Your best salespeople are not on your payroll. Your best salespeople are your customers who are willing to advocate on your behalf.”
Social Selling Evangelist
Peer-to-Peer Selling enables deeper engagement and lessens content overload about your brand by providing the peer-driven evidence salespeople need to help the buyer progress through each stage of the buyer’s journey. Peer-to-Peer Selling enables this natural exchange of information.
The power of social media lies in an authentic, word-of-mouth recommendation from a trusted source – your brand advocates. Peer-to-Peer Selling is a result of brand advocates who are willing to share their positive experience with their peers. Marketing can enable sales and impact results by helping salespeople bring the Voice of the Customer to their prospects.
To learn more about the essential tools needed to make Peer-to-Peer Selling successful, download The CMO’s Guide to Peer-to-Peer Selling eBook.
Co-author, Zoe Meyer, Founder and Managing Director, customer-360