One of the key ways to market a new product or service is through word of mouth advertising. No matter how much of our lives is conducted in a digital manner, word of mouth continues to be important. It is clearly noticeable that, when word of mouth is credible, a marketing campaign also becomes far more successful. However, statistical studies conducted by experts like Matthew F Knouff have shown that it is very difficult to build that trust, even when the word of trusted friends is involved. In fact, this is something that marketers find of serious concern, because it greatly affects their ability to market properly, both online and offline.
Why People Are Skeptical
Social media is now all around us, and this has changed he definition of what a “friend” is. Someone can be a Twitter follower or a Facebook friend, but that doesn’t mean we trust those people as we would those closest and dearest to us. Indeed, when a Facebook friend recommends something, people don’t automatically believe them.
A lot of online marketers have resorted to sending customers free products in return for a review. Samples are handed out through various social network sites in the knowledge that people will see and test the products, and then start to promote them. However, many people who see these are already feeling doubtful and cynical. And when they suddenly start seeing positive reviews, tweets, and blog posts all over their social media pages from friends and followers they only know virtually, they suddenly don’t take any of those recommendations seriously anymore.
How to Manage Consumer Doubt
There are quite a few tactics and strategies that you can employ in order to manage this consumer doubt and help to turn it around into trust, using social media and even social media endorsements. This is also something that Matt Knouff has looked at. Some of the most effective strategies include:
- To always ask for a disclosure from those people who receive a free sample or who are otherwise compensated for sharing their opportunity.
- To always disclose the relationship that exist between different people involved in the promotion of a certain brand or product.
- To ensure any business relationships are made clear as soon as they are formed, and that this is made clear easily on social media sites.
It is important to really value having an honest and open relationship with your customers. Writing a disclosure in a blog is very easy to do. A simple sentence explaining that a product was received (or offered) for free in return for an honest opinion is all it takes. Twitter is a little bit more complex because of the limit on characters, however. Using hashtags is a great way to get around this difficulty.
The simplest thing to remember is, according to Matthew Knouff, that honesty is the best policy, and that people expect ethical behavior from the companies they want to work with. Take this to heart to get the most out of your own social media efforts.