Since most people are carrying their phones with them at all times, it makes sense to try to utilize this for word of mouth marketing purposes. There are a few ways in which mobile technology can be a great help in increasing word of mouth activity around a business or brand:
Text messaging may be a basic technology, but one that can work very well in word of mouth marketing. Just as with e-mail marketing, the idea here is to sending messages to users that they are likely to forward to their friends. The contents could be anything, and will vary depending on what the business does, but one idea would be coupons and time limited offers.
If the business has a “refer a friend” program, this could also be implemented using text messages. An example would be hosting a form on the website where they can enter the phone number of a friend, then having a customized referral message sent out. In this case it is important to take steps to ensure that the feature cannot be used for spamming – for example it could be limited to 1 message per day and only registered customers would be allowed to use it.
Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and it seems like almost every website and business out there has their own app too. The upsides are many, of course, one of which is the ability to easily and instantly share things from the app with the user’s friends. Again, coupons and limited deals are perfect for this. Say you’re scrolling through the app for a popular web store, and come across a coupon for a certain product. Right away you think about your friend Mike who said he was in the market for that exact product – a couple of “clicks” later and he has the coupon code in his inbox. It’s important to make the sharing procedure as fast and effortless as possible, as users on smartphones generally have very little patience for slow apps.
A photo contest can be a great way to increase word of mouth activity around a brand. The basic idea would be holding a contest where the most fun/creative photo relating to the brand wins a prize. So how does this increase word of mouth activity? Well, one idea would be to require contestants to submit their photo through Twitter, thereby showing it to all of their followers (and potentially many more if it gets re-tweeted). A contest like this can blow up and generate a huge amount of buzz for a brand if well executed.
Just as with all other word of mouth marketing efforts, it’s important to experiment and not be afraid of doing something wrong. It pays to be careful with text messaging, however, as there are some laws and regulation in place for those. Otherwise it’s all fair game, and the worst that can happen is that the idea fails to gain any traction with users.