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WoM: Viral Psychology 101 - 12 Secrets Of Successful Word-Of-Mouth Programs

  1. Learn more about WOMMA and how we can help you improve your word of mouth marketing program at www.womma.org. (c) 2006 Word of Mouth Marketing Association. You may share this presentation if it is not altered in any way.
  2. Viral Psychology 101 12 Secrets Of Successful Word-Of-Mouth Programs Jim Calhoun, CEO PopularMedia, Inc. www.popularmedia.com
  3. WOM 102 Creating Messages that Travel: Ideas, Items and Actions People Want to Share Slide 3
  4. WOM 102 Creating Messages that Travel: Ideas, Items and Actions People Want to Share Slide 4
  5. WOM 102 Creating Messages that Travel: Ideas, Items and Actions People Want to Share • Create programs that people want to share • Make the sharing process easy and fun • Make people feel good about sharing Slide 5
  6. The secret to STARTING THE CONVERSATION Ask people to tell their friends about you Slide 6
  7. Motivation & Self Image 1. Motivate on a personal and social level Two factors determine whether I’ll tell my friends: • Do I like your offer, product, service, or content? • Will telling my friends make me look good – or bad? Slide 7
  8. Motivation & Self Image 1. Motivate on a personal and social level Benefit to me • Benefit to my friends • Novelty and utility • Additional social benefits • Slide 8
  9. Cognitive Load Management 2. Choose the right time to pop the question Don’t interrupt someone when they’re trying to remember something or they’re focused on a task: • Making a purchase • Comparing products or offers • Trying to get help • Reading an article • Watching a video • Starting a download Slide 9
  10. Cognitive Load Management 2. Choose the right time to pop the question Map your process and look for ideal times, then make telling friends an integral part of the process: • Post-registration • Post-purchase • After creating a wish list • At the end of an article or video • During downtime while files are downloading Slide 10
  11. Automaticity 3. Make it so easy that I can do it without thinking Model your word of mouth tools on familiar tasks and interfaces: E-mail forms should match standard interfaces • First name, last name optional • Slide 11
  12. The secret to MAKING IT VIRAL Invite your audience to tell more than just one friend Slide 12
  13. Anchoring 4. Never say “tell a friend” When coming up with a number or amount, we look for a reference as a starting point, then shift up or down from there • Suggested donations • Length of comments based on size of text box Slide 13
  14. Anchoring 4. Never say “tell a friend” Provide a high anchor point when prompting for referrals • “Tell your friends” – not “tell a friend” • Multiple address fields • Suggest telling five or 10 friends • Experiment with exclusivity: “you only get five invitations” • Test and measure this KPI to manage it up Slide 14
  15. Aided Recall 5. Provide tools that access contact lists Recall is harder than recognition • 347 people in my address book • I remember 40 of them • Of those, I can think of four who like “X” • Show me my list of all 347 contacts, and I’ll find ~35 who like “X” Slide 15
  16. Aided Recall 5. Provide tools that access contact lists Provide tools that integrate with existing e-mail • address books Infrequent contacts can be great WOM targets • Respect friend’s privacy • • Where possible, you should prevent users from sending messages to those who don’t want to receive them Slide 16
  17. The secret to KEEPING WOM SPREADING How do you motivate a friend of a friend of a friend? Slide 17
  18. Social Obligation 6. Accountability = Obligation When someone sends us a personal message, the social contract obligates us to respond to it or pass it along to others, even if we’re not personally interested. • Virus warnings • Product warnings • Chain letters • E-mail petitions Slide 18
  19. Social Obligation 6. Accountability = Obligation Make the receiver accountable to the sender • Personalize messages • Require response: Accept or Decline an invitation • Give both parties feedback when one acts • Prompt people to remind friends who haven’t acted Slide 19
  20. Reciprocity 7. Start by doing something nice Delight me, entertain me, compliment me, or give me a gift, and I will go out of my way to do something nice for you in return. • Can be tangible or an experience • A token gesture is enough • Should come before the pass-along request • No strings attached Slide 20
  21. Reciprocity 7. Start by doing something nice Make your message into a gift that the participants can give to all their friends • Coupon codes for discounts, samples, freebies • Invitations to my personal network • E-cards and “thinking of you” messages • Amusing or poignant content Slide 21
  22. The secret to KEEPING IT POSITIVE AND ON-BRAND Help people feel the brand love Slide 22
  23. Social Modeling 8. Set a positive example We figure out how to act by observing those around us. Online, we look for “evidence” of other peoples’ actions. If we see evidence that others are sharing content or positive WOM, we’ll tend to do the same. Slide 23
  24. Social Modeling 8. Set a positive example Model the behavior you want people to take Provide a sample message • Use mapping tools to show how far a message • has spread Highlight “most shared” or “most viral” content • Show comments or testimonials • Slide 24
  25. Consistency 9. Get people to play along Think you act the way you do because of what you believe? Actually, it’s often the other way around. We tend to shift our attitudes to match our behavior, regardless of why we did something in the first place. • Works best when there’s no incentive or payoff • Escalate requests gradually Slide 25
  26. Consistency 9. Start by doing something nice Start by asking for a simple act of brand advocacy. Even if people initially do it just to play along or be nice, the act will actually increase their brand commitment and set the stage for larger actions in the future. • Sign a petition • Forward a message • “Why I love… in 25 words or less” contests Slide 26
  27. The secret to NURTURING YOUR NETWORK Make sure it’s a rewarding experience Slide 27
  28. Conditioning 10. Use positive reinforcement We do things that are rewarding, and avoid things that have negative consequences. • Tangible: prizes, incentives, samples • Experiential: fun content, happy song • Emotional: feel-good moment, connectedness, gratitude Slide 28
  29. Conditioning 10. Use positive reinforcement Emotional rewards are the best way to inspire viral WOM. Find ways to give people a warm, fuzzy, feel-good moment every time they share your message. • Personal thank-you • Good feeling from helping friends • Public recognition • Unexpected tangible rewards Slide 29
  30. Consistency 9. Start by doing something nice Delight me, entertain me, compliment me, or give me a gift, and I will go out of my way to do something nice for you in return. • Can be tangible or an experience • A token gesture is enough • Should come before the pass-along request • No strings attached Slide 30
  31. Consistency 9. Start by doing something nice Make your message into a gift that the participants can give to all their friends • Coupon codes for discounts, samples, freebies • Invitations to my personal network • E-cards and “thinking of you” messages • Amusing or poignant content Slide 31
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