Word of Mouth, Word of Mouse – Getting People Talking, Sharing and Influencing for Your Library

Date(s) - 03/12/2020
9:30 am - 3:30 pm

Oldsmar Public Library



Word of mouth is one of the oldest forms of promotion – recommendations spread from one person to another. People talk – all the time. And we listen to what our friends, family, and even strangers, have to say about a product, service, organization, or charity. In fact, marketing content can have a greater impact when it comes from a friend or someone like us. It’s the difference between walking up to someone and saying “I am so awesome!” and your friends telling each other “They are so awesome!”

People talk – that’s the core of “word-of-mouth”. Modern word-of-mouth-marketing (WOMM) is often more of “word-of-mouse” as we use technology to share what we love, make recommendations, and influence decisions of others. Modern WOMM is about positively informing, encouraging, and directing the ‘people talk’ that already happens. It includes both natural, organic efforts and more directed, targeted instances of sharing and social proof. Modern marketing is built on relationships, trust and we need to include strategic efforts at this sharing by directing WOMM.

Imagine if your community and users talked about your library the way they do about the hottest fashion trend, favorite celebrities, or what they’re binge-watching? Of course you want your community excitedly sharing about your library and its activities! We can get so caught up in promoting what the library is doing that we forget that conversations our community has about us can be and even bigger influence on use of the library.

But that word-of-mouth and sharing doesn’t happen by accident – you need to marketing efforts to help it happen and strategically nurture the word-of-mouth. Planning for social proof, social influence, and encouraging targeted word-of-mouth and word-of-mouse is part of content marketing and needs to be part of your overall marketing strategy. Getting your users and patrons to be your best advocates and part of your marketing team takes some strategy and effort too – but is well worth it.

This workshop looks at strategic word-of-mouth marketing, social influence and building social proof, customer stories and customer-generated content in your marketing plan, how excellent user experiences are part of creating brand advocates, communicating your value to local influencers (and having them work on your behalf), empowering your staff to be social and community influencers, and more.

Objectives + Outcomes:
• Be able to evaluate your library’s current WOMM (word-of-mouth marketing), including efforts to ‘listen’ or monitor
what is already being shared about the library.
• Describe current efforts for building, sharing, and increasing social proof
• Understand the role that the customer experience plays in intentional word-of-mouth, social proof, and creating
customer brand advocates.
• List action steps for finding local influencers and create script for your library’s ‘parking lot pitch’ to local
stakeholders and influencers.
• Outline a campaign for amplifying community conversations (including online) around a specific library initiative or
strategic goal.

Instructor Bio:
Jennifer E. Burke is president of IntelliCraft Research LLC (www.intellicraftresearch.com), a strategic marketing consultancy for libraries, in Philadelphia. She holds a B.S. in Communications with a TV/Film minor from Northwestern University, an M.S.L.I.S. from Drexel University, and spent 5 years as an IMLS Fellow in Drexel’s Information Studies Ph.D. program working on digital libraries and education. As a former advertising/marketing executive she’s capable of speaking, and translating, both “marketing-ese” and “library lingo”. She helps libraries to become more strategic storytellers and avoid marketing headaches. She’s a member of several professional library associations and is currently President of the Board for the nonprofit Library Marketing Conference Group. Her email address is jburke@intellicraftresearch.com.


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