Are people talking about your business? Your brand needs to pique enough interest to stay top of mind. Although social media is an absolutely essential way to harness the power of customer conversation, most word of mouth still occurs offline. Here are four fresh offline ideas to create buzz around your business.
Embrace Your Errand-ness
If frequenting your business falls along the lines of “errands” for your customers, don’t fight the stigma. Use it to your advantage. Customers who’ve been running around all morning will appreciate a cup of hot cocoa at the dry cleaners, mostly because it’s unexpected. It’s homey. It’s service-oriented. It gets people talking.
Tell a Story
Humanize your staff by spotlighting one of them. Ask a staff member with an eye for photography to take portraits of everyone, and feature an employee in your office (or the window) every month.
Add an interesting fact to the display, and you may get tongues wagging. The tidbit doesn’t have to be overly personal, but interesting enough to spark conversation. Your IT guru’s new Labrador may not matter to many, but if your receptionist golfed at St. Andrews last summer, you’ve struck gold.
If you’re a walk-in business, get a guestbook. Having a guestbook is a great way to focus on customer experience and adds charm to your office or store. Train staff to invite customers to sign it before they leave. Encourage them to write their thoughts about your business. If you leave colored pencils out, you’ll be surprised by how many more people participate.
Celebrate Minor Holidays
Last week we celebrated national Clean Your Desktop Day. If there’s a holiday for creating new folders and deleting old downloads, there’s certainly one that pertains to your business. Find that holiday, and design a special promotion around it. Tailors can offer free repairs on national Count Your Buttons Day, and bookstores can host a BOGO sale on Reading is Fun Day. The more obscure, the better.
The trick to making this idea work for you is advertising your special well in advance. Use word of mouth marketing to scare up some interest—because if they’re not talking about you, they’re not buying from you, either.