WOM Rule #1: Build advocacy, not buzz.

WOM_RulesCreating and leveraging a thriving group of Advocates should be the #1 mission for your company. Advocacy is the key to business success. Companies with higher advocacy levels and positive WOM grow revenues two times faster than companies with low advocacy levels and negative WOM, studies by the London School of Economics and others have found.

Example: Apple’s Advocates are the lifeblood of its success. Since the company’s founding, Apple’s Advocates have served as a Virtual Salesforce, spreading positive WOM, helping boost sales, and even defending the company from critics. And the same consumers who were advocating Apple long before Steve Wozniak was dancing with the stars are still evangelizing Apple today.

Buzz, on the other hand, is tactical and short-lived. Buzz may result in a short-term spike in awareness and sales. But getting people to talk about your brand is not nearly as valuable or sustainable as getting them to advocate you.