WOMMA“Word of Mouth is the original Social Media.

I like this quote from John Moore, an evangelist for Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMMA). I attended his presentation yesterday on the topic, along with Rob Fuggetta, Founder & CEO of Zuberance.

John’s presentation was very clear and echoed a lot of themes about how much more effective Word of Mouth Marketing is in today’s social media climate. John mentioned that WOMMA is 5x to 10x more effective than traditional marketing. Word of Mouth has been difficult to measure in the past, but with social media and social media monitoring tools, it is much easier to measure. Leveraging social media for better WOMMA is where the 5x to 10x comes from, I believe. I have found this to be quite true in my own experience.

“Social media helps small companies look bigger and big companies get smaller”bigorsmall

Another John Moore line. There are many examples of social media campaigns, and most that do not cost much compared to traditional marketing campaigns. The social media campaigns generate the word of mouth. The social media monitoring tools (Biz360, Scout Labs, Techrigy - and even Zuberance has features here, too) provide the means to effectively measure the results of your WOMMA or social media campaigns.

For small companies, you can join conversations about your market, demonstrate thought leadership, generate buzz, create a community, and ultimately create evangelists. I’ve done this for small companies, even from the earliest of stages. At the end of the day, the product still needs to work and solve a problem, but if you do, you will get evangelists, or advocates, or as I like to call them, “key champions”. John further mentioned that “buzz does not create evangelists, but evangelists create buzz.” You might need a little buzz to help find the evangelists, but treat them right and they definitely create the right kind of buzz for you.

Rob from Zuberance continued the presentation with an emphasis on advocates for your brand, how to identify them, mobilize them and track their performance. Rob believed in using surveys and social media listening. I use social media monitoring tools to not just find evangelists for your own product, but to find where your audience gather online. For most companies, finding where (what social network site, blogs, even conferences) your audience resides and discusses your market can help you join the conversation and add value they may not be aware of. And never forget your partners and channels – they are often a great starting point to identify key champions. They believe in your product, quick to mobilize and have the incentive to evangelize your solution.

Mobilizing your advocates can be as simple as making it easy for them to share your content. Turn them into publishers and once again social media tools can help with this. A simple example is the “share” buttons you find at the end of blog posts – providing the user with one-click methods to share your content in the social web. Or, even easier now is “RT” – retweet your tweet on Twitter. However, you can engage many tactics to turn your key champions into publishers and evangelists through comments, badges, emails, product reviews and my favorite, the YouTube video contest – where you ask your audience to create YouTube videos to win a prize. Amazing what you will find!

Social Media = Word of Mouth = Influence Marketing

I call all this influence marketing (also referred to as Influencer Marketing). The general belief that we control 50% of the relationship, but we influence 100% of it. I find that influence marketing and word of mouth can greatly enhanced with partners and channels. Partners can be some of your strongest advocates and help you to influence your customers and your market. I challenge you to find influence in your market where you can improve your customer acquisition, satisfaction and growth through social media, word of mouth or whatever you want to call it!

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