How to Get Your Customers to Market for You

Word-of-mouth marketing has always been the cheapest and most effective way to increase brand awareness. In fact, 84 percent of consumers consider the opinions of others to be their most trustworthy source in determining where and what to buy. It’s one of the reasons many companies are bringing on brand ambassadors. You don’t need big name celebrities or bloggers to help build up your company. Instead, find ways your customers can market your business, whether directly or indirectly, to others.

How can you do this? Below are some tips.
Highlight Customer Testimonials
There’s a reason businesses publish customer testimonials and reviews on their sites. It’s because it works. Sites that highlight testimonials help build trust and can help motivate people into taking action.

So how do you get these reviews? Take a look at the way other companies are doing it. For example, Amazon sends out a reminder email about a week after you make a purchase asking you to review a product on their site. Something as simple as this can serve as a friendly reminder to any customer. Any positive reviews you get you can post on your website or in your store so that potential customers can easily see the positive experiences previous clients have had.
Social media is also an excellent place to share positive customer feedback. Even negative feedback can help your company. How? If you can respond and fix the issue in a quick and friendly manner, you could potentially turn a dissatisfied customer into a happy one. When you honestly work to make a situation better, customers will appreciate the effort and will be more likely to spread the word to friends and family.
Encourage User-Generated Content
Social media is one of the best places to create brand advocacy campaigns. Monitor your channels to see if someone mentions your company directly. It is one of the best opportunities to engage in the conversation as it helps build stronger relationships with your followers and promotes your brand. Even if people aren’t talking about you specifically, you can still leverage certain events or trends to encourage user-generated content. For example, a sneaker company can ask runners to share pictures of their shoes before a marathon. There are plenty of options; however, don’t use the space solely to promote yourself. Appreciate the person’s efforts, and always be sincere when responding.
Another bonus of monitoring your channels often is that you can see if your account has been hacked, allowing you to quickly remedy the situation. While you should continue to encourage user-generated content, be careful your accounts aren’t compromised. If this does happen, change your passwords and ensure you are only logging in through secure channels. Use one of these top-rated Virtual Private Networks to protect your social media platforms.
Use Customer Referral Programs
There’s no shame in asking your customers to spread the word. In fact, if they like your product, most need very little prompting. However, it doesn’t hurt to offer some kind of reward for referring others to your company. Affiliate programs are becoming increasingly popular among companies because they are an effective way to build brand awareness and loyalty. In fact, referred customers are 18 percent more likely to stay with a brand over non-referred ones.
The easiest way to get your customers to refer your brand is to highlight how they will benefit from referrals. Some ideas include:
• Discounts
• Free or early access to a particular service or product
• Cash back on a percentage of sales from referred customers
And don’t forget to promote these programs on your site and social media profiles. After all, if no one knows about them, no one will use them.
Your customers are not only a source of income, they’re also a powerful ally for your business. If you can provide them with exemplary service, they will reward you with authentic content to help fuel your marketing campaign.
What ways do your customers market your business? Tell us in the comments below.
About the author: Caroline is a technology writer with an interest in marketing. She believes each new technological advance offers even more opportunities for businesses to reach their target audience.

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