3 Steps to Influence Purchase Decisions Online
By Patrick Courtney
A new report from MarketTools reveals that nearly 70% of Americans visit blogs, communities or social networks. Of all respondents in the study, nearly half have been influenced in their purchase decisions by social media.
Your product is being talked about everywhere by everyone. A single product review can be seen by millions. This realization can be terrifying, or it can inspire you to take advantage of this powerful word-of-mouth opportunity.
1. Harness the power of positive. Your product isn’t going to satisfy 100% of consumers. People are going to dislike it or have a bad experience, it’s inevitable. But chances are there are customers who love your product, who have gone as far as writing a positive review or telling a friend about their experience. They don’t have to do that. That’s a conscious decision to take time out of their day to promote you. These are your advocates. Identify them, support them, and encourage these actions. If you can’t find advocates, create them. Find a consumer who has had a terrible experience and go above and beyond anything they would expect to make things right, for example. Chances are that brand detractor becomes your brand ambassador.
2. Energize. What better place to start the Word-of-mouth movement than on your home turf? Invite your advocates to join a conversation together with you. Reward them for their contributions. Not only does this empower your customers to spread your message, it facilitates a dialogue with your most loyal customers to gain insights and research into purchase decisions and habits. Create a Groundswell.
3. Cultivate and amplify the message. Use this groundswell as your opportunity to create a unified voice among your advocates. Educate them and supply them with the resources to educate others, and the tools and means necessary to spread the word!
Apply this method effectively and let your customers do the rest. This assuming that your product doesn’t suck.