Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Social media meets Word Of Mouth Marketing

It is a widely accepted fact that word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is the most effective kind of marketing in comparison to paid advertisements. How many times have you told your friends what to buy as well as the name of shop and they accepted the advice without second thoughts?

Why does this happen in a near-predictable fashion? The answer is one key word that underlines all great relationships, TRUST. Friends readily accept their peers’ recommendations because of the water-tight bonds that they share. Welcome to the world of consumer tribes!

Online connections
The strong relationships that exist between friends or a community are a lucrative resource for marketers who understand the power of WOMM. Social media marketing enables marketers to profitably tap into consumer relationships.

It is easier and faster for conversations to take place on social media than elsewhere. One leading expert in social media described platforms like Yookos as being among some of the biggest voluntary social groups in the world. The social media universe is a complex network of connections, interconnections and inter inter-connections of highly active and engaged users. This is indeed an ideal set up on which WOMM can thrive.

Consumers are always on and connected in the digital world. They spend much of their time chatting and sharing content with friends. Social media is essentially about the conversations that take place between friends and communities and marketing in this place is centred on conversation management.

The technology behind social media enables people to express their inherent human nature fully. People are naturally social, inquisitive and curious. They want to reach out and connect with their fellow type and enjoy life as a group. This accounts for the popularity of social media platforms.
One other peculiarity is that humans love talking about anything and everything all the times. 

The never ending stream of conversations that take place on social platforms have more volume and are more ferocious than any river you can think of. This opens up vast marketing opportunities for savvy marketers.

Be part of the conversations
A word of caution though. The best type of social media content is user-generated and not the branded content from businesses. Users dislike being marketed to on social media and they also distrust marketing messages.

This does not mean that brands should shun social media though. On the contrary, budgets for social media have risen to $11.87 billion in 2014, up from $10.24 billion in 2013.

The brands that are enjoying great success on social media are those that are creating relevant and engaging content that in turn triggers conversations among peers. Whilst consumer detest over marketing on social media, they do not mind consuming engaging content from the brands if it resonates with their preferences.

What makes the social media environment appealing is that it is driven by the sharing economy that allows creative content to go viral, sometimes attracting up to a million views in the process.


Word of Mouth results in an increase in both brand awareness and sales. The good news is that better days are still to come as social media platforms also represent the cheapest form of communication. The results are longer and more frequent conversations that feed word of mouth marketing.

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