Customers Trust Friends’ Recommendations

Posted by: Chris Marentis

Customers Trust Friends’ Recommendations

Do’s
Don’ts

We all know the power of local social media marketing, but it turns out that what you say might not be as important as what your customers’ friends say about you. Customers are likely to choose companies that their friends have recommended. In fact, a recent study has shown that social media users pay little attention to advertisements. Instead, they focus on what their friends are saying about a company. Seventy percent of social media users said they trust their friends’ brand recommendations.

customer service

It’s now more important than ever to make sure that you maintain a high level of customer service. Although this has always been critical to the success of your businesses, your customers can now share their positive and negative experiences online, which can make or break your online reputation. If your customers are happy with your company, they’re likely to let their online friends know about. Don’t neglect your customer service because you’ve devoted your resources to social media management; it’s likely to backfire.

Target Customers with Sponsored Stories

If your company spends some of its budget on Sponsored Stories, you’re still in line with the study’s findings. Sponsored Stories are delivered to users based on friend recommendations, which makes them more effective than standard banner ads, probably because users instantly identify them as advertisements and tune them out.

Provide Valuable Content

So what does this mean for your business? The new findings show that brands benefit the most when they create original content that educates or provides entertainment for your customers. It might seem more difficult than it actually is. Providing valuable content might be as simple as posting a short how-to video or a link to an educational blog post that might be useful to your audience. Most of all, it means that your company will have to do its best to think about what your customers want, and deliver it.

The study found that what customers don’t want is direct advertising of a particular product or service. They need to understand your business and how your services can benefit them before they even think about working with you. Instead, deliver content that helps them form an affinity for your brand.

Maximize Your Customer Reviews

If your company has received lots of positive online reviews, capitalize on them. The study found that consumers also trust consumer reviews about a company. 46 percent of respondents said that they take reviews into consideration. On the other hand, only 9 percent of respondents said they listen to text messages from a company. Add a rich snippet for your Google listing to highlight your positive reviews. For more information about how to take advantage of Google’s services, check out our major search engine guide.

Chris Marentis

Chris Marentis is a passionate entrepreneur and innovator determined to leave a legacy bigger than himself. Chris grew up in an entrepreneurial family with a father who owned a home contracting HVAC business. When traditional media was disrupted by the online world, empowering consumers to rely less on sales people and advertisements to make decisions, large companies with big budgets could afford to play the game, but the local entrepreneur, like Chris’s father was left behind. This disadvantage inspired Chris to write Surefire Social: the guide for local SMB’s to compete in the digital world. Chris was invited to speak at events and demand grew for ways to implement his ideas. Chris turned his vision into a reality when he started Surefire Social in 2009. Feedback was strong. Businesses began asking for help implementing their digital marketing and Surefire evolved into a SaaS and services business. The company’s dramatic growth came with only 1-2 sales people at any given time and a limited marketing budget, thanks to referrals from rabidly loyal clients. The company’s latest innovation Surepulse, an SMB’s Digital CMO, provides data insights and competitive tactics to marketing novices, giving them complete control over their online marketing activities. Chris has spoken at the following events: SMX, BIA/Kelsey, Hanley Wood International Roofing Show and Contractor Summit, NAILBA National Conference, Tech Summit, CCN, GAF Wealth Builders, Gutter Helmet National Dealer Meeting. Publications Chris contributes to: Street Fight, Search Engine Land, iMedia, Social Media Today, Franchising World‏.

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