Lots of small business owners love social media because it lets them see word of mouth marketing in action. A simple twitter search shows you what people say about any number of topics. But it helps to give them something to talk about. Case in point:
Someone called me today to talk about some stuff happening in Austin. Then during our conversation, he mentions to me about a website that sells $25 gift cards for only $10. He then discusses how they’ve got some going for only $2 as well and how he doesn’t understand how they can be so cheap.
While I can’t say for certain, I would bet that the restaurants cover the cost from $25 to $10, and that the company covers it from $10 to $2. They essentially put their marketing budget into lowering their prices, which is brilliant. When people come across these, they are not only impressed, some are even confused, causing them to remark to other people. In other words,they’ve given their customers something to talk about.
As much as people always want word of mouth marketing, you can spur the process along by giving them something to talk about. Offer free food on the first day. Do some special promotion that only the hardcore fans of your business will partake in. Do something outrageous that people can’t help but talk about. These types of promotions will undoubtedly cost money, but chalk it up to a marketing expense and it’ll all be worth it.