Getting W.O.M. to Fight for your Martial Arts School
In the martial arts business, once your students are off the mats they talk. They spread ideas and opinions. They’re talking about you, your school, and whether it’s worth their time and money. These verbal opinions can end up online as reviews and ratings. This unsolicited speeding of opinions is called Word of Mouth (WOM). It is everywhere and can either help or hurt your martial arts studio. The key to controlling, or at least having an effect on, WOM is understanding it.
WOM is simply the spreading of an opinion from one person to another in either person to person conversation or online conversation. Most WOM comes in two forms: organic and amplified.
- Organic: A customer has an experience with a company and tells their family and friends about it.
- Amplified: A company launches a campaign to inspire and accelerate WOM amongst customers online.
Organic cannot be used by a company as a tool because it is naturally occurring. The only way to affect it is to give your students something positive to talk about (i.e. your extensive knowledge of the technique you demonstrate).
Amplified can be used to drum up talk about your school in the local community. If you utilize your website or social media, you can increase your online presence and draw in more students who haven’t heard of your school through organic WOM.
How Negative WOM Can Affect Your School
Ask anyone who works in marketing and they will tell you WOM is an underrated juggernaut—a powerful force that can’t be stopped. It can either hurt you or help you. At a local level, organic WOM is the most prominent form of promotion. It’s hard to control, which is why actively managing online reviews is important.
How Positive WOM Can Affect Your School
Organic WOM can be useful. If you have a good school, your reviews and WOM should be positive and spread. It’s all about maintaining a good standing with the community and a good online reputation. WOM will affect your school either by drawing potential students to you or driving them away. Make sure you have plenty of good reviews to draw them in.
How WOM can Affect Class Size
Whether your class is crowded or dwindling, WOM can affect attendance. If WOM is on your side (positive reviews), you will probably draw in several new students. If your class begins to get smaller, however, you are either receiving negative WOM or no WOM at all. The best thing to do is ask “What could be causing negative WOM?” Then attempt to remedy the situation. Changed the conversation to a positive one.
The best defense against negative WOM is a good offense. That offense should consist of gaining reviews to grow your online reputation. An easy way to maintain a positive online reputation and fix any negative reputation problem you may have is with RevuCue, which can help you acquire more positive reviews and internalize negative reviews from being seen. All you need to do is download the software onto your smartphone or tablet. It’s that easy. You can have more time on the mats by leaving your online reputation to RevuCue. Sign up today for your a two-week free trial.