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Social Media: The new “word of mouth”

Social Media: The new “word of mouth”

It’s been said that the best kind of advertising is “word of mouth.” If a trusted friend, family member or acquaintance raves about a product or service, you’re probably more likely to take that positive critique into consideration when making a purchasing decision. And, of course, a bad review will have even more impact.

Today, advertising is everywhere, but word of mouth still has tremendous impact. In fact, word of mouth now spreads like never before.

More connections equal more influencers

Facebook alone has approximately one billion users. A billion users! And the average Facebook user is connected to 229 “friends.” When you take into consideration Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Instagram, Path, etc.(the list goes on and on), the number of people we are connected to can increase exponentially.

Good (and not-so-good) reviews travel faster than ever!

Before the Internet, and especially before the advent of social media, word of mouth was usually as simple as a conversation with a neighbor or a family member about a specific product that you fell in love with, or a restaurant where you received bad food and even worse service.

The Internet has certainly provided another forum to “spread the word” about our experiences with various products and services. But with the arrival of MySpace and Facebook (and all the others now available), a glowing review of the new video game you received, or a scathing critique of the hotel you booked for your vacation, can have a tremendous impact. Your Facebook friends living 3 states away may not be terribly interested to hear that you had a fabulous meal at the new Italian restaurant in town… But they might remember it the next time they are back home and looking for a place to eat. And maybe you’ve been Tweeting about the multitude of problems you’ve been having with your new car. Well, now the kid who sat behind you in third grade (who happens to follow you on Twitter) may just decide not to take that model into consideration when shopping next year.

Smart companies have always known that the key to success is keeping customers happy so there is little, if anything, for them to complain about. The really smart companies will make sure that they give their customers something to brag about to their friends - all 229 of them.

Dec 31, 2012
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