Believe it or not, people besides us write things worth reading (just kidding). I came across a blog post the other day, and a great little snippet of it really stuck out.
The first question any company must ask itself is, what does our brand stand for? Unfortunately, that question rarely gets asked. Instead, the focus is on what social media can we get into? Too many companies get PR, social media or advertising campaign all wrong. They forget that the brand strategy should come first and the execution should follow. Doing it in reverse doesn’t work.
This quote got me thinking about the need for strategy when approaching word of mouth marketing. We’ve talked about this on our blog before, and it is something we truly believe in our good ol’ marketing bones. As WOM gets less trendy and more ubiquitous, it’s time for a refresher course. Every company now feels like they need some kind of WOM and social media, but simply diving in won’t suffice as a smart marketing move. You’ve got to ask yourself some questions first:
- Who are we talking to?
- What do we want to say?
- Why are we saying it?
- Where is the best place to spread our message?
- What platforms should we be using?
Any agency worth their salt will bring these questions up when you work with them (if they don’t, get another one), but asking some of these questions yourself can be a huge eye opener (and time saver). Imagine you wanted to buy a car, but you did no research and just picked one. You might get in your new, shiny car only to discover it has no engine. In the same way, companies that dive into social media without planning on how it is going to fit into their overall brand strategy can find themselves confused and talking to no one. Word of Mouth can have endless benefits to a brand, but be careful about how you approach it. Put in the due diligence to figure out what you think it will do for you and be ready to explain your reasons to your agency. Then be ready to listen to them as they tell you what’s next because they know better than you how to execute. It’s what we’re good at, you know?