Sure, advertising on TV, radio, mail, and the Internet work great for getting your brand out there and making it easier for people to find your business. But it doesn’t really show people how much you’re already being used, and how reliable you are as a business or service provider. To really make your business seem “legit,” you’re going to need customers who are willing to tell other people just how awesome you and your business are. Here are a few tips for getting your customers to advertise for you.
Tell your clients that they will get a discount on future products or services if they refer you to one or more their friends (you can pick the number). You can also give them business cards or coupons to give to their friends and family to help generate more traffic. If a client is truly satisfied, he or she will want to share it with others because they know the value of a good service. Don’t be shy- this is one of the best ways to ask happy customers to share their experiences.
2. Social Media
If you have a storefront, ask people to check in when they come through your doors and share a little bit about their experience. They can also find your social media pages (whether on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) and either leave a comment on your page or tag you in their post using your @handle. This encourages the younger generation in assisting you in your advertising campaign, and also creates a community around your business. If you don’t have a storefront, ask that your customers find you on social media to leave a comment after they’ve received your services so that they can let other people know how you did. People love sharing their opinions; give them a sounding board.
Whether it’s on your website, on Google reviews, Yelp, Angie’s List or social media, let people leave you reviews. Especially if you are a service-heavy business (home repair, restaurant, retail, etc.), you need to allow people to review you. By giving them a number of platforms, you can also generate more positive reviews and increase your rankings (especially in Google and Angie’s List). Ask people to pick their favorite site, or leave a review on multiples. The downside to this is that people may leave bad reviews, but no company has ever had 100% satisfaction; people don’t look for perfection, they look for genuine service and they can decide for themselves if you’re providing that.
Not only does allowing a customer to help with your advertising in all these different ways make you seem more legitimate as a business; it also keeps cost down. You’re not spending a dime to get your name out there, you’re simply asking people to share what they know. Some business owners may be concerned that leaving it up to the customer will not work, or will work against them with bad reviews and bad social media press. If you have a good business model, and intend to do right by your customer, you have nothing to worry about.