Any business owner can tell you that word of mouth (also known as a referral) is the best way to get business. As marketers word of mouth is the type of interaction we strive to offer online. We want interactions with our brands to be relevant, honest and within the context of the existing conversation. Social media platforms like Facebook provide a perfect platform where friends, trust and brands all come together. As marketers our goal should be to find a way for to put our brand in a position to be spoken about in real, “organic” ways on social media platforms.
From Word of Mouth to “World of Mouth”
In Eric Qualman’s 2010 book Socialnomics, he talks about how putting word of mouth onto social networks amplifies it reach exponentially. We may have a conversation at a party with three or four people, but an online conversation on Facebook could potentially reach much much more. For example, If I post a recommendation on Facebook and a friend comments, all of my friends and his friends can see the conversation. So if we each have 300 friends, that’s, 600 people! for each new comment or “like” all of the new commentators friends can see it as well. Those numbers can get really big very quickly!
It is worth mentioning that word of mouth is much more powerful (as all interactions are) face to face. There is some dilution of trust in the online world. But what more effective way is there to leverage the power of word of mouth to reach large groups of people?