How Effective is Word of Mouth Marketing?
Word of mouth marketing, WOMM, is one of the most effective forms of marketing. Like most people, I am more likely to believe what a neighbor, family member, or coworker says about a product than what an advertiser tells me. Most people are skeptical of advertising and it is often criticized for being less than truthful. You trust friends and family or even the mommy blogger you follow more than paid advertisements.
I enjoy vintage advertising, so one of the first things I think of when it comes to word of mouth advertising is an old commercial for Faberge shampoo. To me it’s a great example of the foundation of word of mouth advertising. The commercial demonstrates how the girl in the ad liked the shampoo and she told two friends and they told two friends, and so on and so on… This is a classic example of what we see in social media today. You tell a friend that you like product x and at the same time you’re also telling all your friend’s friends, and so and so on.
Social Media Marketing is Word of Mouth Marketing
Social media is effective marketing, because it’s reaching consumers where they are. Facebook business pages or blogs are now help hotlines, testimonial pages, or complaint departments. A wise business owner will not only respond to positive messages, but also show how they handle the negative comments. Consumers are well aware they can go to your Facebook page and complain. Consumer complaints posted on your wall may not look good for your company, but what is worse, is not responding in a timely and courteous manner. Consumer complaints are visible to over 1.5 billion Facebook users (Statista, 2016) and how your company responds publicly is critical.
The relationship between word of mouth marketing and social media marketing is social media is the latest in word of mouth marketing/advertising. Consumers looking to make a decision about purchasing a new vehicle can poll their friends on what they think is the best new SUV on the market. Someone may need an exterminator and they may ask their friends on Facebook for the name of someone they know and trust.
While I don’t believe social media will ever completely replace traditional advertising, it has proven to be an effective medium and it’s much cheaper than a billboard!
By: Kelly Ann Jones