GTM Dictionary

The Go-to-Market Dictionary: Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Discover the power of word-of-mouth marketing with our comprehensive go-to-market dictionary.

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) has long been touted as one of the most effective ways to promote a business. In today's digital age, where social media and online reviews play a crucial role in shaping consumer behavior, it's more important than ever to understand the power of WOMM and how it works.

Understanding Word-of-Mouth Marketing

The Power of Personal Recommendations

Think back to the last time you made a purchase decision. Did you rely on advertisements or the recommendations of friends and family?

Chances are that personal recommendations played a significant role in your decision-making process. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising.

This is the power of WOMM - the ability to tap into the trust and credibility of personal recommendations to drive sales and brand awareness.

But why is WOMM so effective? For one, it's based on authentic, real-life experiences and opinions. People are more likely to trust the recommendations of someone they know and respect, rather than a faceless brand or advertisement. Additionally, WOMM can create a sense of community and belonging among consumers, as they bond over shared experiences and recommendations.

How Word-of-Mouth Marketing Works

At its core, WOMM relies on people sharing information about a brand, product, or service with others.

This can happen organically, as satisfied customers naturally share their positive experiences with others. However, businesses can also take steps to encourage and amplify WOMM through targeted marketing efforts.

One effective way to encourage WOMM is through referral programs. By offering incentives or rewards for customers who refer new business, companies can create a cycle of positive recommendations and increased sales. Influencer marketing is another popular form of WOMM, where companies partner with social media influencers to promote their products to their followers.

Types of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

There are several types of WOMM, including:

  • Referral programs
  • Influencer marketing
  • User-generated content
  • Online reviews and ratings

User-generated content (UGC) is another powerful form of WOMM. This can include customer reviews, social media posts, and other content created by consumers about a brand or product. By sharing UGC on their own channels and encouraging customers to create and share their own content, businesses can tap into the power of authentic, user-driven recommendations.

Online reviews and ratings are also a key component of WOMM. Positive reviews can help build trust and credibility for a brand, while negative reviews can be damaging. Companies can encourage positive reviews by providing excellent customer service and actively seeking feedback from customers.

Overall, WOMM is a powerful tool for businesses looking to build brand awareness and drive sales. By tapping into the trust and credibility of personal recommendations, companies can create a loyal customer base and increase their reach through organic, user-driven marketing efforts.

The Role of Social Media in Word-of-Mouth Marketing

In today's digital age, social media has become a key channel for WOMM. Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is a powerful tool for businesses to promote their products or services. It involves leveraging satisfied customers to spread positive messages about a business to their friends, family, and acquaintances.

Here are some of the ways that businesses can leverage social media for WOMM:

Influencer Marketing

Influencers are social media users who have a large following and can influence their followers' purchasing decisions. They are often seen as experts in their field and can provide valuable insights and recommendations to their followers.

By partnering with relevant influencers, businesses can tap into their followers' trust and credibility to drive sales and awareness of their brand. This can be done through sponsored posts, product reviews, and other types of collaborations.

However, it's important to choose influencers who align with the business's values and target audience. Authenticity is key in influencer marketing, and followers can quickly spot when a partnership feels forced or insincere.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) refers to content created by customers that features a business's product or service. This could include social media posts, photos, videos, and reviews.

By encouraging customers to share UGC and featuring it on their own social media channels, businesses can amplify the reach of their WOMM efforts. UGC is often seen as more authentic and trustworthy than branded content, as it comes from real customers who have experienced the product or service firsthand.

Businesses can incentivize customers to create UGC by offering discounts, giveaways, or other rewards. This can help build a sense of community and loyalty around the brand.

Online Reviews and Ratings

Online reviews and ratings can have a significant impact on a business's reputation and sales. Customers often rely on reviews to make purchasing decisions, and businesses with high ratings and positive reviews are more likely to attract new customers.

By actively managing and responding to reviews, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction and use positive reviews as a form of WOMM. Responding to negative reviews in a professional and helpful manner can also help mitigate any potential damage to the business's reputation.

Businesses can also encourage customers to leave reviews by sending follow-up emails after a purchase or providing a link to the business's review page on their website or social media channels.

In conclusion, social media provides businesses with a powerful platform to leverage WOMM. By partnering with influencers, encouraging UGC, and managing online reviews, businesses can build trust and credibility with their target audience and drive sales and awareness of their brand.

Strategies for Encouraging Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is a powerful tool for businesses looking to expand their reach and build a loyal customer base. When customers share their positive experiences with others, it can help to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to a business's website, and ultimately lead to increased sales.

Here are some strategies businesses can use to encourage WOMM:

Providing Exceptional Customer Experiences

Customers are more likely to share positive experiences with others, so it's important for businesses to focus on providing exceptional customer service. This means going above and beyond to make sure that customers feel valued and appreciated.

One way to provide exceptional customer service is by offering personalized recommendations. By taking the time to understand a customer's needs and preferences, businesses can make tailored recommendations that are more likely to lead to a positive experience.

Another important aspect of exceptional customer service is responding promptly to customer inquiries and issues. When customers have a question or concern, they want to know that their voice is being heard. By responding quickly and effectively, businesses can build trust and loyalty with their customers.

Finally, businesses can exceed customer expectations by offering unexpected perks or incentives. This could include free samples, discounts, or special promotions that make customers feel valued and appreciated.

Creating Shareable Content

By creating content that is informative, entertaining, or otherwise valuable to their target audience, businesses can encourage customers to share it with their friends and family. This can help to increase brand awareness and reach new potential customers.

One effective way to create shareable content is by starting a blog. By regularly publishing high-quality blog posts that provide value to readers, businesses can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and build a loyal following.

Another effective strategy is to create infographics, videos, or social media posts that showcase a business's products or services in a creative way. By making the content visually appealing and easy to understand, businesses can increase the likelihood that customers will share it with their networks.

Leveraging Customer Testimonials

Customer testimonials and case studies can be a powerful form of WOMM. By featuring customer success stories on their website, social media channels, or other marketing materials, businesses can showcase the real-world impact of their products or services and provide social proof to potential customers.

One effective way to leverage customer testimonials is by including them on product pages or in email marketing campaigns. By featuring quotes from satisfied customers, businesses can help to build trust and credibility with potential buyers.

Another effective strategy is to create case studies that showcase the results that customers have achieved with a business's products or services. By providing detailed information about how a customer was able to overcome a challenge or achieve a goal, businesses can demonstrate the value of their offerings and encourage others to try them out.

In conclusion, WOMM can be a powerful tool for businesses looking to grow their customer base and increase sales. By providing exceptional customer experiences, creating shareable content, and leveraging customer testimonials, businesses can encourage their customers to spread the word and help them to achieve their goals.

Measuring the Impact of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM) is a powerful tool for businesses looking to increase brand awareness and drive sales. It's a cost-effective way to reach new customers and build trust with existing ones. As with any marketing strategy, it's important to measure the impact of WOMM efforts and adjust tactics as needed.

Measuring the impact of WOMM can be challenging, but there are several key performance indicators (KPIs) that businesses can track to gauge the success of their efforts. Some KPIs to track for WOMM include:

  • Referral traffic: This refers to the number of visitors to a website who come from a referral source, such as a link shared by a customer or influencer.
  • User-generated content (UGC) submissions: This includes any content created by customers, such as reviews, social media posts, or blog articles.
  • Online reviews and ratings: Positive reviews and high ratings can be a strong indicator of the success of WOMM efforts.

By tracking these KPIs, businesses can get a better sense of how their WOMM efforts are impacting their bottom line.

Analyzing Social Media Metrics

Social media is a powerful tool for WOMM, as customers are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family on social media than they are to trust traditional advertising. Businesses can use social media analytics tools to track engagement and reach of social media posts related to their WOMM efforts. This includes metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and followers gained.

By analyzing these metrics, businesses can get a better sense of which types of content are resonating with their audience and adjust their strategy accordingly.

Tracking Referral Traffic

One of the most effective ways to measure the impact of WOMM is to track referral traffic. By tracking referral traffic from sources like website links or referral codes, businesses can measure the impact of their WOMM efforts on driving sales and leads. This can be done using tools like Google Analytics.

By analyzing referral traffic, businesses can get a better sense of which referral sources are driving the most traffic and which are resulting in the most conversions. This can help them refine their WOMM strategy to focus on the most effective channels.


Word-of-mouth marketing may not be a new concept, but it remains a powerful tool for businesses looking to build brand awareness and drive sales.

By understanding the different types of WOMM, leveraging social media channels, and using targeted strategies to encourage positive word-of-mouth, businesses can tap into the power of personal recommendations and create loyal customers for life.