Word Of Mouth: Age-Old Principles Spark New Conversations
Yesterday's talk with a friend is today's conversation with millions. In the past, when people had something to tell each other, they talked face to face. What's known in the online environment as Word-of-Mouth Marketing
(WOMM) is simply people talking to each other about their experiences with businesses, brands and products. While the fundamentals of how we share information haven't changed, the channels by which we share it
continue to evolve. The rise of social media has given voice to million of consumers. Is your business listing?
How when where info is shared?
- How do Internet users prefer to find out about a service, product or brand?: 1) Face-to-face - 71.8%; 2) Email - 49.7%; 3) Telephone - 36.5%; 4) Mobile phone - 34.7%; 5) Text messaging - 26.2%; 6) Online
communities - 21.6%.
- Why do US Internet users share online content?: 1) Entertainment - 45%; 2) Helpful - 30%; 3) Get a laugh - 15%; 4) Generate discussion -7%; 5) Promote ideals or beliefs - 2%; 6) Less than 2% get to know me.
- Social networking tools used by US Internet users to create "influence posts": 1) Ratings/reviews - 32%; 2) Discussion forums - 29%; 3) Blog comments - 24%; 4) Blog posts - 16%.
- Bad first impressions ?nd second chances. 40% of customers who suffer bad experiences with a business stop doing business with the offending company.
- Customers want answers. 21% of companies had a process for responding to complaints on e-commerce sites, and even fewer knew to respond to problems via Facebook or Twitter.
- How many companies are integrating social media into their business solutions? (Keys: Well integrated; Some integration; No integration): 1) Marketing (Well integrated - 33%, Some integration - 52%, No integration -
16%); 2) PR and communications (Well integrated - 27%, Some integration - 52%, No integration - 20%); 3) Customer service (Well integrated - 10%, Some integration - 39%, No integration - 51%); 4) Sales
(Well integrated - 7%, Some integration - 48%, No integration - 44%); 5) CRM/Customer data (Well integrated - 6%, Some integration - 31%, No integration - 63%); 6) Product Dev/Innovation (Well integrated -
5%, Some integration - 32%, No integration - 63%); 7) Human resources (Well integrated - 2%, Some integration - 24%, No integration - 74%).
Word of mouth
- Why do you trust? 81.4% of Internet users are likely to recommend a brand, product or service they heard about from friends and family.
- "I saw it on the Internet". 92% of shoppers have more confidence in info sought online vs. anything from a sales clerk or other source.
- Look who's talking. 33% of Twitter users share opinions about companies or products at least once a week. More than 30% make recommendations or seek guidance.
- Effect of positive vs. negative word of mouth according to US Internet users (Keys: Positive; Negative): 1) Credibility/Believability of what was heard (Positive - 48%, Negative - 66%); 2) Likely to purchase (Positive -
16%, Negative - 61%); 3) Likely to pass along to others (Positive - 42%, Negative - 54%); 4) Likely to seek out information (Positive - 20%, Negative - 41%).
Analytics & monitoring tools
- How many companies are integrating social media into their business? 42% consider themselves "not very" or "not at all" effective when it comes to gauging the bang they're getting for their social media marketing bucks.
- Where are my customers? What are they saying? 75% of companies do not know where their most valuable customers are talking about them.
- Analytic measurement tools used by social media marketers worldwide: 1) Free Analytics Software (e.g. Google Analytics) - 74.5%; 2) Free Buzz-monitoring Service (e.g. Tweetdeck) - 51.1%; 3) Tracking Twitter
Clicks and Retweets (e.g. Bit.ly) - 47.5%; 4) Polls of Social Media Connections - 37.8%; 5) Paid Analytics Software (e.g. Omniture) - 30.8%; 6) Scientific Control/Exposed Surveys of Connections - 29.8%;
7) Paid Buzz-monitoring Service (e.g. Radiant 6) - 19.7%.
Best impact & analytics
- Strength in numbers. 54% of marketers get better results from combining email and social media marketing.
- Friended today, unfriended tomorrow. 65.5% of US marketers track increase/decrease of friends/followers/fans as their top social media matric.
- Do you now integrate social media into marketing campaigns? Social media metrics tracked by US marketers, April 2010: 1) Yes - 64%; 2) Not now, but plan to in the next year - 22%; 3) No plans to integrate before
2012 - 10%; 4) Do not know - 2%; 5) Others - 3%.
Succeeding in social marketing
- Personal conversations and recommendations do not happen solely online: neither should word-of-mouth programs.
- Any social marketing program must be built around a business objective, not a social channel.
- We must drive the majority of conversations in organic channels rather than owned channels. Why spend resources preaching to the choir?
- Consumer conversations must be sustainable and meaningful. Buzz is great, but what about the other 50 weeks in the year?
- Our philosophy. A consumer's recommendation is viewed as the single most credible marketing message a brand can have. We can help you get more.
Aspen Digital Services | Apen visualns and links: blog.aspenms.com; linkedin.com/companies/aspen-marketing-sevices; twitter.com/aspenmarketing; facebook.com/AspenMarketingServices | Contact: Jeff Bodzewski.
Director of Social Marketing Digital Strategy & Social Marketing Practice (linkedin.com/in/jbodz, twitter.com/jboknows, email@example.com).
Sources: Retail Advertising & Marketing Association, March 2010; Chadwick Martin Bailey, September 2010; Forrester Research, April 2010; Trendspeed and Lightspeed Research; Welcome to Social Entertainment,
January 1, 2011; Harvard Business Review, 2009; Econsultancy, eMarketer; Technorati; Harvard Business Review 2010; Wall Street Journal, January 2009; Keller Fay Group; Chief Marketer 2010 Survey;
Marketing Profs; Lyris Technologies, 2011; eROI.