Word of mouth, personal recommendation and business cards are the most frequently used way SMEs or startups to promote their business. However, will it always be that way?
If you are SME (small to medium sized enterprise) or startup owner, the aforementioned methods seem alright to get your business off the ground, yet if you don’t initiate any follow up marketing plan, you will find yourself in a limited lead source. If you can’t keep your ‘A’ game all the time, in the end, your clients will diminish in a surprisingly rate, threatening your business’ longevity.
Fortunately, in this social media age, anyone can become a publisher and distributor of content and company’s message. In other words, social media is a perfect way to reap testimonials from past clients and satisfied customers.
For those who might still uncertain about the true power of honest and genuine customer testimonials, please take a look at the following infographic. Here, you will notice that customer testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing at 89 percent:
Infographic credit: WebDAM.
So, are you interested to start collecting customer testimonials now? Here are three tips you might find handy:
1. How To Capture Testimonials
The very first thing you need to pay attention to when getting genuine customer testimonials is to look back on your MOST successful projects in the past. These people are the ones you should contact right away. It’s not a big secret anymore that people are affected by review, whether it is online or offline, when making a buying decision. That said, a single positive endorsement or satisfied testimonial can definitely become a game changer. If you’ve done good work for the clients in the past, most of them will be more than happy to provide a nice word or two to put on your company website or spread though your official social media channels.
When you find these ‘happy’ customers, you can ask them for a written (preferably formal) statement about your service, or better yet, shoot a short video. If you have a limited time schedule or a limited budget, then written testimonial is the way to go. However, depending on the type of your business and people you are working with, you might want to request your customers to add a little bit of ‘personality’ to their testimonials and link them to the suitable products. These bits of ‘uniqueness’ might (or might not) leverage your business and audience’s expectation. Like we’ve stated earlier, it’s all about the way your business’ persona.
Still, it has been proven for a long time that video testimonial is a WAY much more powerful to deliver the message. A video content is six times more effective than the written word.
2. Content Distribution
One of the most important (and relatively tricky) parts of social media is to be consistent with the way you distribute the content. For instance, if you have six testimonials, it will be much more effective to distribute one testimonial every few days rather than pushing them out all at once. In other words, you might want to preserve your ammunition. Keep in mind that variety is the key to keep boredom away, so it might be a good idea to vary or incorporate these testimonials in with relevant articles, opinions or infographics. It’s perfectly fine to be a little informal when it comes to social media, as long as you stay on topics and discussions.
3. Audience Engagement
Posting content on a regular basis is a must, yet if you really want to grow an audience on social media, you need to be REALLY active on your social network. Spend a little time each day commenting on relevant (or interesting) Facebook posts, ReTweet great content you see on Twitter and mentions your customers. Provide feedback when necessary. In short, engage your audiences as much as you can. The more you engage with people in your immediate social network, the more you appear in the feeds of their contacts, which raises the probability to be seen and gain more followers / Likes.