What are you doing to generate word of mouth


Amazon’s Vine program

We all know how awesome word of mouth is.  We know it beats any mode of advertising and that over 90% of consumers say it’s the most compelling factor in their decision to buy.

We all want it.  We want our customers to go skipping down the street, singing odes to us.  We want them to pull out their rolodex and drunk dial their peers to shout our praises.  We want them to tattoo our logo on their rear end. (Hey, it works for Harley)

So we patiently sit and wait for them to do just that.  And we wait.  And we wait.

Perhaps it’s time we actually do something to make it happen.

Amazon created a program they call Vine.  They have formed a small cadre of customers and inved them to be Vine members.  A Vine member gets two free books or any other item (they provide a list…you choose from that list) that Amazon sells every month. In exchange, you agree to review those items.  Good, bad or ugly — once you publish your two reviews for the month, you’ll eligible to get more free stuff the next month.

I’m a Vine member.  Of the 12 or more reviews I have written, almost all of them have been positive.  A couple effusive and a couple were so-so.  So at least 80% of the reviews they’ve gotten from me have been praising the products.  They generated word of mouth because they set out to get it.

If mega-store Amazon has to actively create word of mouth opportunities, what do you suppose the odds are that you’ll suddenly get a bunch of spontaneous praise?

Exactly.  Which is why we need to purposefully and actively generate it.

How could you do that in your business or how are you doing it today?


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9 comments on “What are you doing to generate word of mouth

  1. The most basic is to offer quality customer service. It’s something even the smallest business can do. Great customer service creates happy customers, and the latter will be more than willing to share the good news, even without rewards.

    1. Mae –

      I don’t think that is enough. think of how many companies give you good service. How many of them do you give amazing word of mouth coverage to?


  2. I’m not even sure “quality customer service” gets anything more than a “Thanks”. It has to be WOW customer service – so unexpectedly delightful that you HAVE to tell someone else.

    The main thing is… you have to give people something to talk about.

    1. Phil —

      That’s my point. Even if you are spectacular — most people don’t rave. But if you make it easy for them to do so — they will. They just won’t show the initiative. But they will finish the sentence, if you will.


      1. Drew,
        Exactly right – give them something to say and give them a place or way to say it. Social media is a perfect example of of a great place for your fans to sing your praises.

  3. Karin H says:

    Hi Drew

    That’s just gave me an idea for a blog post, based on a feedback we received yesterday evening.

    It’s “automated”, in a different way than Amazon of course, but still. We use Zendesk nowadays for people to ask us questions in all matters wooden flooring.

    Already took some screenshots for the post:

    Ever been told your service is “bloody brilliant”? We have been now!

    1. Karin,

      Always enjoy when I can tickle your blogging fancy! Will watch for your post!


  4. Hi Drew!
    That’s a really nice question.
    I think one of the most important think you can do to generate word of mouth is staying and be active on the social networks such as Twitter, Google plus for “international” word of mouth and Facebook and Pinterest for local marketing, because local people love to see what you do, what you love..
    Another way is to comment around different kind of forums or on Linkedin Groups and of course write a blog!
    I’m trying to do all this stuff. Another think you can do is going to all the events in your sector but also in other one. You can everytime meet interesting people who you can talk with and share your business card.

  5. Based on my trip to Chicago this week, I’d add “great product” to “great service” to generate word of mouth. We ate at Gulliver’s. The food, atmosphere, and service were fabulous, I tweeted it, FB’d it and we went back a second time. For me, it’s the whole package.

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