eWOM, or electronic Word of Mouth, is a real-time reflection of your Brand and Company image. This is generated by all the reviews, comments, likes, mentions and more that appear about your brand on not only your own website and social media pages, but also on review sites like Yelp and Google.
So how do you manage your eWOM and create “eWOW?” You must cultivate engagement, be transparent and ensure your team is actively engaging with your users and creating authentic content.
We all know that social media has been evolving at a phenomenal pace. In the last seven years, the number of Facebook users has doubled, and LinkedIn users has tripled. In addition, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram users have all seen increases.
With this staggering growth, social media’s impact is being seen by leading manufacturers and distributors who are managing this important factor in buyer behaviour. You know the lotto cliché, “You have to play to win.” The same is true for social media.
If you are not monitoring and managing your eWOM you can be sure your customers (or past customers) are doing so for you. Although the idea is to engage active users within your customers, you want to be sure the voices being heard are from your brand ambassadors, not the guy who ordered the wrong product last month.
Many industry leaders have dedicated team members who post consistently, some have the marketing department post occasionally with just a new product launch or similar “news,” and some are still sticking their heads in the sand.
But how does this impact strategic selling? A recent survey sponsored by Demandbase shows some significant changes in buyer behaviour in the last six years. For example, in 2018, 65 percent of B2B buyers relied on peer recommendations and review sites compared to only 20 percent in 2012. Buyers are also spending more time online researching products as the first step in the buying process. They are browsing through posts and discussions, asking contacts and industry peers for input, and even seeking the insights of industry thought leaders.
The survey also shows sales teams can have an impact if they provide the right content at the right time in the cycle. You would think the right content is insightful product information such as what pain points does it address, how easy is it to use, and how it will save on labour, right?
Well, partially right. However, an impressive percentage of buyers now expect their vendor web and social content to demonstrate more. Specifically, a knowledge of not only their industry but also their specific company. If the buyers can take the time to research your products, then they expect you to take the time to research them and to demonstrate your knowledge.
Sales teams and especially market segment specialists should establish themselves as thought leaders in their niche markets. One easy step is sharing product posts but then adding authentic and personal insight that ties that back to a specific story about a customer.
Grant Stanley BSc (Hons) MA MCIM