According to a study by Forrester, word-of-mouth generates 20 to 50% of all purchases. However social media is only responsible for 20% of word-of-mouth. Face-to-face interactions still account for 80% of referrals.
Social media will continue to grow in importance. It will do so by enhancing engagements.
Here’s what Microsoft did to enhance engagements during the launch of Windows 7:
1. Established a social media team.
2. Identified brand enthusiasts. They judged those that were knowledgeable and passionate by the quality of their posts on blogs and various social media sites. They identified those that were active and influential by the number of posts and the impact generated by the posts.
3. Engaged brand enthusiasts. Directly involved brand enthusiasts, created networking opportunities for them, strengthened bonds between the brand enthusiasts and the product marketing team and ensured enthusiasts were recognized for their efforts (enhanced their social standing).
4. Built a tailored presence online by identifying where and how brand enthusiasts wanted to be engaged online.
5. Harnessed the power of public sentiment leading up to the product launch.
6. Empowered brand enthusiasts to evangelize the product via their peer networks.
The key is to ensure your brand enthusiasts are participating because they are passionate about your product and giving them the freedom and support to maintain their objectivity and credibility among their peers.
Are you willing to turn your brand over to your brand enthusiasts and providing them the support they need to help your new product have a successful launch?