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

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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