How To Build A Word Of Mouth Marketing Strategy

Updated: February 28th, 2024


Word Of Mouth
Brand Awareness
Cost Details
Happy customers will spread the word at no cost to your business.

What Is Word of Mouth Marketing?

Word of mouth is when a consumers reflects their interest in a company’s product or service in their daily dialogues.

Therefore, word of mouth advertising is essentially a free advertising triggered by the customers experience.

According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family.

Therefore, in today’s hyper-connected world, a single recommendation through a word of mouth can have a huge impact to your business.

Word of Mouth Marketing Key Takeaways

  • Satisfied customers make recommendations to personal networks
  • Word of mouth marketing is effective in attracting new clients at a low cost
  • Businesses can take an active role in word of mouth marketing by providing resources that customers can share with their friends
  • A customer is more likely to convert into a customer, purchase more products and become a long-term customer when a friend or a family member refers them.
  • Word of mouth marketing provides businesses an alternative route to reach potential customers

Understanding How Word Of Mouth Marketing Works

Word of mouth marketing is more effective in sales compared to paid campaigns. However, marketers need to consider the fact that not all word-of-mouth marketing is positive.

Thus, brands need to work on instilling a more intense emotional response from consumers to receive positive word of mouth.

Moreover, marketers need to think creatively on how to do word-of-mouth marketing and also consider how to drive the strategy in a way that displays the brand positively.

For startups, word of mouth may not gain momentum overnight. Thus, the business owner needs to stay top of mind with clients and build a positive reputation to harness the power of word of mouth marketing.

Real World Examples: Generate Word Of Mouth Marketing

1. Netflix

Netflix has been around since 1997 when they were originally a video and DVD rental company.

The company gives us a good example of how to market through word of mouth. Our example takes us back to 2011 when Netflix anchored itself in pop culture with Netflix & chill.

At one point, Netflix & Chill was quite an innocent and literal phrase. With the meteoric success of Netflix as a company, the term became popular to a point it even evolved to earn a place in the Urban Dictionary definition.


Netflix did not ignore or turn away from the term, but embraced it, and even posted a Netflix and chill meme on their official social media.

2. Starbucks

Starbucks started off humble beginnings and has grown to become a billion dollar company.


A huge contributor to Starbucks success is the word-of-mouth marketing campaign. The company has remained focused on bringing the best coffee to the US while instilling a sense of community in their cafes.


Starbucks avoided investing in traditional forms of marketing and opted to engage actively through social media while amplifying word-of-mouth marketing.

How to Start Word of Mouth Marketing Campaigns

  • Make customers delighted
  • Focus on brand commitment
  • Offer distinctive products and services
  • Nurture involvements to get people talking about your brand
  • Connect with influencers
  • Identify your brand advocates
  • Join the conversation at your peril

To increase the chances of success through Word of mouth campaigns, monitor social media conversations, and more so brand mentions.

You can use tools to monitor mentions on social media, so you do not miss an important opportunity. Examples of social media monitoring tools include:


Manage and schedule posts to multiple social media profiles on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more.

Businesses using Hootsuite:

127 successful businesses are using Hootsuite ➜

Get Hootsuite ➜

Sprout Social

All-in-one social media management platform unlocks the full potential of social to transform not just your marketing strategy but every area of your organization.

  • Try Sprout Social for free with a 30-day trial
  • Standard: $249/mo
  • Professional: $399/mo
  • Advanced: $499/mo
  • Enterprise: Contact for pricing

  • Pricing: Paid

  • Twitter: @SproutSocial

  • Website:

Businesses using Sprout Social:

26 successful businesses are using Sprout Social ➜

Get Sprout Social ➜

Word of Mouth

The most tried and true way to grow a is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.

Why you should focus on word of mouth:

  • Consumers trust word of mouth above all other forms of marketing
  • 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising
  • 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe it is the most effective form of marketing

Learn more about word of mouth in our guide: 30 Ways Founders Grow Their Business ➜

meet the author
Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.