Online ads are becoming painfully annoying, and more people have gathered a sort of instinct to immediately close out of the obvious ads. With the arrival of interactive social media, word-of-mouth marketing has also evolved, and new social communities have emerged in the online world.
The role of social media, online presence, and word of mouth are becoming essential to strong business cash flow for local and national businesses. Social media posts aren’t just for individual people with a personal agenda. Social media as a whole has come to play an increasingly crucial role for businesses, marketing, and social society. The online world can make or break a business reputation in a matter of minutes.
Marketing and Current Issues
The way current issues are handled can blossom or mangle reputations. In government, public administrators fill the role of making sure departments are not only well understood but well-funded in future election cycles. How public officials choose to communicate with an angry public about relevant issues requires unbiased skilland balancing what the public wants to hear versus how much can actually be done.
Marketers can find that combining word-of-mouth, peer-to-peer programs and more activity related marketing (like customer reviews) will leverage the overall impact of their marketing efforts.
When it comes to taking advice on what to purchase and where, people are more easily influenced by personal friends and family. Taking advice from what is displayed in a news feed is becoming more common in social media, especially when a friend shares it. When a company targets a fan base the word can spread like wildfire reaching hundreds, or sometimes even thousands of viewers.
Joining the Club
For marketers, this is the first time they’ve been able to readily plug-in to the real, uncultivated, word-of-mouth conversations of the consumer.
Concerns, questions, opinions, likes, dislikes — these have all been pushed into the public space, leaving marketers with a goldmine of information, ripe for exploration and exploitation.
This data is allowing digital marketers to quickly predict where their target audiences are headed. According to Villanova University, “[social media] allows brands to converse with their target audiences in real time, engaging in conversation rather than simply broadcasting messages that may or may not be relevant to consumers.” They can tap into open communities like Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook to see what a wide array of people are talking about, while collecting invaluable facts and figures along the way.
Ten years ago, this kind of consumer information would not only be far more costly and cumbersome to obtain, it would almost assuredly be gathered using tiered market research techniques. These techniques don’t offer the same truthful transparency of naturally occurring word-of-mouth.
Today, marketers can obtain real-time insights by using social media to tap the word-of-mouth musings of nearly any demographic they might be trying to reach across the globe.
Is It Reliable?
Whether it’s being used for marketing, sales or something else entirely, oral communication has been the primary method of discussing and describing all matters of significance (and insignificance) in communities across the globe. But while the power of word-of-mouth marketing remains unchanged, the means in which we take advantage of it has. The internet, above all, has radically transformed how we utilize communication as a means of marketing.
When it comes to making buying decisions, people turn to their community for recommendations before purchasing any kind of good or service. Consumers will default to the opinions of their friends, family, colleagues, and social peers with far greater frequency than they’ll listen to even the most polished marketing pitch. And to be fair, why wouldn’t they? It’s the marketer’s job to become a trusted source.
With the amount of content (digital or otherwise) besieging consumers on a daily basis, how can they be expected to distinguish the good from the bad or the false from the true? This is where word of mouth marketing gets a second take; it jumps, and it feels more genuine.