It’s safe to say that social media has forever changed the way we make recommendations about any product or brand.
Marketers have known for years that word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is the most credible form of advertising. It’s a good day for a brand when satisfied customers happily share and swap their views about products and experiences and will even put their reputation on the line.
According to Social Media Link’s recent survey of over 10,000 “connected” consumers (93% of them female by the way), Facebook is the most trusted online platform for product and service recommendations.
What leads customers to share?
Most want to help others be informed and they want to share their opinion with others. 78% of respondents said that they usually share product/service experiences when they have had a positive experience (vs. 47% sharing negative reviews).
What makes the review trustworthy?
A personal touch goes a long way. 40% say that an individual’s story and experience with the product or service influences their decision the most. 34% value a list of pros and cons so they can make the most informed decision. In light of this, encouraging your customers to share their stories will go a lot further than simply pushing your own brand messaging.
With these findings, brands can better understand what motivates and drives a customer recommendation and use that knowledge to better plan your influencer strategy – especially if you’re targeting women!
So in the digital world, where should we be focusing to best generate the WOMM energy?
It highly depends on your business and who your demographic is targeting. The key is to identify and only use social platforms that work for you so that you can keep it up to date and relevant.
Here are just a few of the statistics that should matter to a company building a brand.
Word-of-mouth builds audience trust.
92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising and just 10% trust brands today.
Word-of-mouth has massive reach.
1,000 customers can generate 500,000 conversations about a brand.
Word-of-mouth influences people.
81% of consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts.
Word-of-mouth supports positive reputation management.
66% of brand mentions on the social web are positive.
Word-of-mouth affects SEO.
25% of search results for the world’s 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content published via social media.
Word-of-mouth marketing works.
89% of consumers believe that customer testimonials are the most effective content with 70% reviewing online customer reviews first when they consider a brand.
One of the biggest secrets to driving effective word-of-mouth and building a bigger audience for your brand and content is to find the power influencers who already have the eyes and ears of your target audience. In fact, as an Authoritative Content publisher, you are likely a power influencer to your existing audience. You can find more of them by connecting with “superfans” who account for 10% of word-of-mouth marketing and generate three to five times more word-of-mouth messages and have a four times greater impact on purchase decisions than anyone else.
The latest research tells us that 74% of companies plan to deploy influencer marketing in the next 12 months.