Marketing has changed from something you do to customers to something you do with them. Customers want to be involved in the development of products and have a forum for sharing their opinions. As Silverman explains, their desire to be a part of your company opens doors for word-of-mouth marketing.
To actually go viral, you need to offer something that is not the usual, boring, and predictable. “It’s more important to be different than better” in order to set yourself apart from your competitors. People are not going to spread the word about what you do unless it’s remarkable. Give them something to talk about if you want them to share your product or service with their network. Ultimately, testimonials carry more weight than a detailed list of the features you, as the seller, think are important.
How can you be extraordinary? With more and more automated phone lines, an obvious way to provide service worth talking about is simply by being available. Do you answer the phone? Are you responsive to customers? View your customer service as an extension of your marketing efforts and that will take you far.
Another way to be seen as worth talking about is by treating your fans differently. Give them inside information about what’s next or special offers to pass along to their friends. The power of word-of-mouth as it travels from one friend to another is that it’s based on experience.
Remember, you cannot “create” viral. That’s a decision made by your loyal customers. However, you can create something unique which increases the likelihood of people talking about you…. in a positive way.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from AMACOM.