Jan 28, 2010

Word of mouth: measuring the share value of your brand and messaging

Posted by Nicole Green on 01/20/10

Quick – think about the last recommendation you shared. Maybe it was an amazing book or a movie? Maybe it was that new gluten-free brownie mix? Maybe it was a coupon you posted on your Facebook wall (when Teach For America, partners with The Gap for their annual Give & Get campaign, I forward the 30% off coupon to over 1,000 people)?
For women, sharing information (recommendations, experiences, advice) is important, but certainly not a purely altruistic act. Information is social currency. And while exchanging information is faster and easier than ever (copy, paste, click), information as social currency isn’t new. From medieval soothsayers to Gossip Girl, the woman in the know is the woman worth knowing.
But it’s not a numbers game. She’s only as “good” as the information she shares, and she’s highly selective. Before she “hits” send, she makes a rapid, but a critical calculation – one that determines if you’re sent or deleted.
We call this “share value.” And share value has never been more important now that the amount of information women have access to and their potential reach – thousands in a single click – have exploded. There are several factors women use to determine the share value of a ______________ (fill in the blank: brand, message, product, promotion, web-site, event). You can use this list to help evaluate the share-value of your current messaging or offering.
Here’s how to ensure your message is S.H.A.R.E.D.
  1. Save. Does the information offer her the opportunity to save or earn money? Helping others save money pays big dividends toward her own social value. But beware – women are digging for even deeper savings – women tell us 10% and free shipping offers don’t do it.
  2. Hurry. Urgency means more than a limited-time offer. Give her a compelling reason to act now – and make it fun. The Starbucks Free Pint of Ice Cream for Facebook Users promotion is a great example – with only 800 pints per hour up for grabs, the rush to participate was overwhelming, and those who scored, shared.
  3. Access and exclusivity. Help her show she’s connected and in the know while inviting others to the party. Get her to the front of the line, offer her new products and experiences before they’re available to the public and consider co-branded promotions that up the all-access-ante.
  4. Reward. What’s in it for her? How are you incentivizing her sharing? Give her a reason to keep your name on the tip of her tongue.
  5. Express. Simply, what does the information she’s sharing say about her? Consider the values or traits she wants to convey about herself: savvy, relevancy, cool, consciousness, kindness, multi-dimensionality, responsibility, creativity. Align your values to hers.
  6. Digital. It might seem obvious, but there must be a digital, mobile component to all of your messaging that makes it easy for her to send and share with as many people as possible, as quickly as possible.