In the digital age, word of mouth matters more than ever before. In a recent study by social chorus, 95% of millennials cited their friends as the most credible source for product information. According to a 2013 Student Panel study, 90% of college and university students agreed that consumer reviews impact their buying decisions.
Word of mouth (WOM) refers to the ability of consumers to influence one another. WOM occurs in-person and online in the form of conversations, recommendations, reviews, and story-telling. Below are some important facts about college student and word of mouth marketing (womm).
One third of students get their information about campus retailers, products, and campus events from their friends.
- During the 2014/2015 academic year, 11% of students visited their campus store based on promotional information their heard from a friend and 4% of students visited their campus store each month only because they joined a friend or family member shopping there
- 46% of students find out about campus events through WOM
How to leverage this information: Transform your student employees into brand ambassadors. When you hire student employees, it creates an organic relationship between your store and your student customers. Happy student employees create a friendly atmosphere, and your student customers are far more likely to trust a student employee than they are to trust your store management.
Engaging your student employees in your brand gives them a positive story to share with friends. Try including a monthly “student pick” sale item, and let your student employees help make the decision. With that responsibility on their shoulders, they are sure to engage their friends in the process, and that is sure to create good will and positive PR for your store. Plus-students love sales!