Think about the last time you tried a new restaurant. It wasn’t that long ago that you heard about it from a friend or family member talking about, or through some other kind of marketing campaign. Now, however, you may have heard about it through social media. Whether it was a Facebook post or page, a Yelp or Open Table review, or a picture on Instagram, you might not have even known the person you were learning from. That is why the tried-and-true word of mouth marketing, is now more accurately termed word of mouse. Word of mouse is simply word of mouth but in much more powerful digital online media.
In addition to being more powerful, word of mouse is more measurable. As Celina Connor writes in Business2Community “The effectiveness of word-of-mouse marketing can be measured through the social activity of internet users in response to the ads and other forms of information (images, videos, articles, etc.) released online. Social signals such as the number of likes, retweets, and +1s are a good way to measure social activity.” Word of mouth was much harder to measure, and usually required some sort of customer survey after the fact.
There are five reasons why word of mouse marketing is more powerful and effective than word of mouth:
Social Media is Pervasive. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and many other platforms have become a significant part of the lives of millions of people from all generations, around the world. Over 3 billion people use social media each month, or 42% of the total global population. Moreover, it’s growing: every day, one million people try social media for the first time. Despite recent concerns about data privacy, social media has become so ingrained in the way we communicate and live; it will be challenging for people to not use social media in one way or another.
Social Media is Influential. As demonstrated in our 2016 political elections, social media has the power to influence peoples’ beliefs and actions, sometimes radically. And if social media can change your fundamental values and motivations, it can certainly impact how you choose the products to buy and the services you use, as well as our consumption patterns.
Social Media is Contagious. Like contagious diseases, information communicated through social media can be quickly transmitted from one person to another, simply with the click of a button. In fact, any information on social media has the potential to spread to millions of internet users in a matter of seconds. They don’t call it “going viral” for nothing!
Social Media Has No Boundaries. There are no geographic boundaries with social media. Consumers look at product reviews from throughout the world. They can search for restaurant recommendations weeks before they arrive at their destination. A customer in California can recruit a new customer in Florida. Additionally, word of mouse can become word-of-mouth, which is still a good and effective form of marketing for many brands and categories.
Social Media is Borderless. Social media crosses into every aspect of our lives, including work, leisure, personal and consumer topics, and more. Therefore, word of mouse is not just about technology but gives insight and access to all issues in our lives as well. This blended perspective on the market and into the thoughts of individual consumers allows brands to mesh with customers’ lives.
Utilize the power of social media to generate word of mouse. Create passionate and excited consumers who will share what they think about your company’s products and services with their friends, relatives, and even perfect strangers in the offline world. It only makes sense to leverage social media to gain the most word of mouse!