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What is electronic word-of-mouth (E-WOM), and why does it matter?

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E-WOM happens when people talk about your products or services online.
I like to think E-WOM in simple terms. Perhaps, E-WOM comes around whenever someone shares your content online or makes a comment on it. One share or a thousand, it all counts as word of mouth because visitors are still passing on your information to their pool of contacts.

So, why would that even matter, right? Well, E-WOM is a free form of advertising that visitors do on their own free will. Even better, some consider E-WOM to be one of the most powerful forms of marketing. As online consumers tend to trust messages that come from people that they know or have associated with (through follows, etc.).

In fact, a Nielsen report found that 92% of people trust recommendations that come from within their social circles. Over and above any other marketing communication tactic. 

However, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Once people start sharing your content, you’ll have to monitor their interactions closely. This way, you will avoid unwanted and harmful messages. That might damage your reputation or ill-fit your brand image.

Okay, so where does social media fit in?

So you might be wondering why I just spend 300 words of this blog to explain the concept of electronic word-of-mouth (E-WOM). But trust me it’s all for a good reason.

Social media has changed the nature of marketing communications. Even more so, social media and the rise of the internet has transformed (and then amplified) the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

For instance, nowadays, one visitor has the ability to share a message with hundreds, thousands of millions of people in a millisecond on their social media channels. Which is extremely powerful for your organisation. Think about it, if you can trigger emotions on your WordPress to get visitors to share your content on your social media, your content reach will be magnified. And all you had to do was to create valuable content.

Do this by following these three simple rules:

  • Engage with your visitors
  • Equip your visitors with tools and information
  • Empower – give them different ways to talk and share

Below are just some of the few ways that you can add social media onto your WordPress site. By adding social media to your WordPress you’ll encourage your visitors to engage in a conversation with you – hence increasing the likeliness of E-WOM.

The best thing about it is that you won’t have to do it by yourself. There are tonnes of plug-ins that you can use that can add social media to your WordPress in a click of a button.

Social media widget buttons

Widgets are extensions that allow visitors to get quick access to information. They pretty much come in a whole world of shapes and sizes. But there are three main types of social media buttons:

Share buttons

Share buttons allow users to automatically share your content onto their chosen social media channels. You can create a pre-made text that will generate as soon as the visitor clicks the button. However, this may be less authentic. Reducing the trust factor in E-WOM.

Although, having a social share feature is not enough to push visitors to share your content. The real trick is to produce ‘shareable’ content by creating value first. Value ridden content normally tricks an emotional chord with visitors while staying relevant to hot topics.

Follow buttons

As you may have guessed by the name, this button urges visitors to follow your social media channels. All in a click of a button, saving visitors unnecessary time in searching for your profiles or tempting them to follow you! 

Message buttons

Nowadays, people expect businesses and organisations to respond to their queries within 24 hours.  Unlike social media, comments on your website are easier to overlook. So having a social media share button will allow you to respond to questions or comments quicker than solely relying on website communication.

Floating social

A floating social bar is a way of fixing social buttons onto your WordPress pages. No matter if your visitors scroll up or down the page, the social media buttons will remain at the same place of the screen.

Social media feeds

A social media feed, or otherwise known as a social wall, allows you to display your social media feeds on your website.

You can either choose from a live or a hand-picked social media wall to present on your website. A live feed will give your visitors up-to-date information. Helping them to see that your recent activities.

Live feeds can present live any live mention, hashtag or tweets. However, you ought to monitor what is being shared to your website. Especially for live hashtag and mentions where you cannot control what others may say. 

Alison is the Director and Founder of WP Fiddly Bits, the WordPress Website Maintenance experts, and contributes to the WP Fiddly Bits WordPress blog. She also uses her background in marketing to help clients get found everywhere online.


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