3 Types of People Who Extend Your WOM Reach

word of mouthAccording to Clickz, there are three main types of people who tend to talk about businesses they like, thereby providing word of mouth advertising. Jumping off from my previous article about making the most of your brand fans, let’s talk about who’s sharing information about your brand, and the best ways to reach out to them and improve their verbal reach.

Type One: “The Counselor”

Clickz describes this type of brand fan as someone who has a specific type of knowledge, who is often consulted by friends when they have questions about their topic of specialty. So, if you’re a whiz in the kitchen, and your friends typically come to you for recipe suggestions or opinions on the latest cooking gadgets, you’re likely this sort of brand fan.

While Clickz reports that these types of brand fans typically do their own work without additional input, I’ve cobbled together a few ways your business could potentially piggyback on this type of word of mouth advertising.

If you’re what Mashable calls a “transparent brand,” it could definitely be to your benefit to engage with this type of brand fan. Transparent brands frequently post blogs about internal corporate dealings and external uses of the product or service, and otherwise offer ways for consumers to learn more about the business and its real-world operations. Offering information to brand fans in the form of applicable knowledge is a great way to get people interested in your field, and get them talking about it.

Type Two: “The Communicator”

This brand fan is somebody who loves to talk about brands online, through blogs, review sites, product ratings, forums, and social media. These are often the loyal customers that Forbes says you should be targeting, since they’re the most likely parties who will tell their friends and family members about your brand.

How to engage with communicators? These brand fans are the ones who you really want to employ social networking strategies with. If you can form an association between your brand and a positive experience, or even just an everyday situation, these brand fans are going to be thinking about your business and therefore posting about it more.

You’ll also want to appeal to customers’ desire to share things online and build their own social currency through a brand-related identity. Appealing to emotion and creating a story to go with your brand are two other great techniques. Finally, be sure to engage with these brand fans over social networks through replying to feedback and asking them questions, as they’re more likely to talk up your brand when you talk to them.

Type Three: “The Community Builder”

Clickz calls these folks the most important and the rarest type of brand fans. Community builders are the people who start their own blogs and forums, moderate spaces, and start discussions in a more formal way than communicators. These are people like the two guys who started Coca-Cola’s Facebook page, gaining the brand millions of followers and eventually being brought into the company as consultants.

When dealing with this type of brand fan, you really want to build a relationship with them. While you certainly don’t need to hire every respected blogger who talks about your brand as a consultant, it’s important to generate a solid rapport with the people who are giving you the most word of mouth coverage. Find out if you can strike up a review deal, or if they would be interested in running features about your product or service. Many community builders want to generate and disseminate new information, so appealing to that desire is a great way to inspire them to get the word out about your business.

Have you worked with any of these three types of brand fans? Tell us about your experience in the comments section!


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Beans graduated from Smith College in 2011 with a BA in History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and has worked as a farmer, a cook on a food truck, and an archival assistant. Outside of writing and editing for CEM, Beans enjoys reading voraciously, watching space documentaries, and baking vegan treats. Currently, Beans lives in Salt Lake City, UT.

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