Getting the word out about your company is essential for a business to thrive, especially for small start-up companies, in this world where there is fierce competition. It can be especially hard for new businesses with limited resources to put a lot of money into marketing efforts, too. But many of the successful businesses today started out that way, small with not much money. How did they spread the word and how can others do the same? Use customers as marketers, of course. Turn your customers into brand advocates and have them spread the word. Word of mouth is a great cost-effective way for any business, whether well-established or just starting out, to get the word out about your brand, and even better is that it’s coming from a satisfied customer so it will have more impact. So, how do you go about turning your customer into a marketer for your brand? Here are a few things you can do.

1. Customer Satisfaction

First of all, you need to have a customer who is happy with your company so they will want to tell others about you. Provide excellent customer service and great products. Be up-front and honest with them if there’s a problem. Keep them in the loop about where the items they ordered are. Use their name, whether talking to them in person, on the phone, in an email, etc.

2. Feedback

Hand in hand with #1 is asking for feedback. Let your customers tell you how satisfied they are with how you’re doing or with your product, what they think can be improved, etc. It makes them feel as if their opinion matters to you and can help you get insights into your business.

3. Referrals

Offer incentives for referrals. You can run promotions, such as a “bring a friend” event with special gifts or offer a discount for referring a friend. Don’t offer the referral program right away, though. Give the customer time to get acquainted with you and your products first, then offer the incentive. Be sure to thank both the customer and their referred friend when the referral is complete.

4. Surprise

Getting a gift is nice, but when it’s a surprise, it’s even better, right? Make your customers happy with a surprise gift once in a whilst. It can something like a free upgrade, an actual free gift or coupon for a free item, or a simple thank you note.

5. Reward

Reward your customers for spreading the word. You can offer them a discount, exclusive content or some sort of small reward for having them recommend your company on social media. Maybe have some sort of a reward program where they can earn points for different activities, including sharing posts on social media.

6. Testimonials

Ask your customers to provide testimonials about your company or your products. Then you can post their testimonials on your website. Doing so can turn them into a brand advocate as well as give you free content for your site that acts as social proof and can encourage prospects to convert.

7. Contests

Hold contests that can be fun for your customers to take part in and also act as brand advocates. You can hold something as simple as getting them to share a pre-set message on social media and pick a winner at random, or you can hold something like an online photo contest and the photo that get the most likes wins.

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There are so many things you can do that can get your customers to be your brand advocate and market your business for you. These are just a few ideas. You can find more ideas if you go here, here, here, and here.