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3 word of mouth tips for local businesses

This is a post from our WordofMouth.org project. Check it out for more great word of mouth marketing tips like this every day.

Local businesses have a great opportunity to tap into community pride and earn passionate word of mouth from people around town. The businesses that get this right become the icons of a community — the companies people think of when they talk about what makes their town unique. (P.S. This works for local franchises of big brands too.)

How to become a remarkable local business:

1. Be a hometown billboard
2. Don’t forget your best influencers
3. Take part in local pride

1. Be a hometown billboard

In Denton, Texas, Frenchy’s Lawn and Tree Services turns their distinctive orange trucks into community billboards by writing messages on them with giant magnetized letters. They announce stuff like school plays, wedding anniversaries, and well-wishes for students leaving town. People take pictures in front of them and post them to Facebook, blog about them, and look for the new messages on their trucks every day. By shining a spotlight on the community, Frenchy’s gets lots of attention around town.

2. Don’t forget your best influencers

As a local business, you have a great opportunity to get to know your most vocal talkers around town. Some great ones to remember: schools, sports leagues, churches, and charities. Groups of people are more likely to spread word of mouth than an individual. Do something for these groups like hosting one of their events, sponsoring a game, or helping out with their cause. These acts of goodwill can help you make relationships with the people who will talk about your stuff the most.

3. Take part in local pride

Even if your business isn’t from around here, you can still earn word of mouth by celebrating some local pride. Coca-Cola certainly isn’t local to Denmark, but when they heard it was named the “happiest country in the world,” Coke wanted to share that accomplishment with the Danish people. How? By dispensing Danish flags from a billboard at an airport. The simple gesture made Coke a part of a Danish tradition to greet arriving travelers with waving flags. That gave people at the airport something to talk about (and something to smile about).

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Comments

  1. Kristy M. Lopez December 13, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    During my time with a national franchisor I trained hundreds of small business owners on how to become involved with their community; everything from social media to joining their local Chamber of Commerce. I believe that it is imperative for small businesses to show local pride and gain word-of-mouth advertising (which can be extremely powerful for a small business)! Great tips. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Nelly December 30, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi there! I’d like to know how can apply this tips in a small town Hotel, I’ve already read the Word of Mouth Marketing book, but, there is not too information for local bussiness, for example I loved the idea mentioned in the book about make a meeting for taxi drivers to develop publicity for a Hotel in Las Vegas, but you know that is not the same Las Vegas with a little town haha. Can you tell me any advice for my bussines pleasee!!!!!!!!!

    By the way I loved the book!

    Regards!

  3. bridgettecude January 6, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    Hi Nelly,

    Bridgette with Andy and the crew at GasPedal here. So glad you found us and read the book! A lot of us are from small towns at GasPedal, so we know businesses like yours can come with some special challenges.

    You’ve found some of our favorite tips for local businesses here, but
    here’s another one to check out:
    http://damniwish.com/newsletter-1012-the-advice-i-just-gave-a-local-store-owner-issue/

    This is advice Andy gave a local sports shop, but we think you can apply a lot
    of these same principles to your hotel.

    Most importantly, you want to be a place your guests would recommend to their friends and family. Some examples from hotels that do it well:

    The Ritz-Carlton:
    http://www.brainsonfire.com/blog/2012/09/24/are-you-in-the-giraffe-business-you-should-be/

    The W Hotel:
    http://wordofmouth.org/blog/wom-tip-372-remarkable-customer-service-shouldnt-stop-at-the-front-desk/

    Hotel Palomar:
    http://wordofmouth.org/blog/how-to-focus-on-the-details-that-start-conversations/

    3 more word of mouth lessons from hotels: http://wordofmouth.org/blog/3-word-of-mouth-lessons-from-hotels/

    Hope that helps!
    Bridgette

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