As well as being our PR company’s mantra, ‘Work hard and be nice’ is the only way to do business as far as we’re concerned. Innovations like Twitter and easy to use blogging platforms have changed the face of both social and business universes. Individuals like Robert Scoble have reached celebrity status simply by living their lives online, and humble pork pie makers like Sarah Pettegree of Brays Cottage have more followers than JP Morgan.
It’s easy to assume (and a lot of people who don’t ‘get’ social media do) that having lots of Twitter followers or people subscribed to the RSS feed of your blog means that you are guaranteed to succeed. They’re wrong. Although having a celebrity founder/investor like Ashton Kutcher or similar can help to get a product off the ground when launching it’s not sustainable – AK isn’t going to spend all day, every day tweeting about the product. Granted, services like Adly can be useful for a brand seeking to promote a consumer product to a particular audience but again, not viable on a long term basis.
Anyway, this isn’t how referrals work offline – no-one listens to guys with megaphones shouting about something in the middle of Trafalgar Square (at least not for more than a rubbernecking second), they listen to their friends. And when more than one friend says the same thing, peer influence starts to come into effect in a big way. See the Storify below for an example of how this sort of thing can snowball –
The above is a big deal for us, and it happens quite a lot – people recommend KashFlow to their friends so much that they do a lot of our marketing for us. Of course, much of that is due to the product itself (easy to use, automates repetitive processes and provides useful reports – what’s not to like?!) but we think it’s probably also partly due to our support team and how we treat our customers. We take our support philosophy and providing outstanding customer service very seriously, and (we hope!) that results in people liking us.
It doesn’t matter if someone ‘only’ has forty followers, you should still be nice to them. If they love you enough, and their audience is highly engaged, they might just end up converting those forty people into new customers for you.