Is Social Media the New Word of Mouth?

Dec 18, 2013

It has long been said that word of mouth is the best marketing you can get, and that’s still true. But word of mouth has changed as the way people communicate has changed, and in the digital age, it has been cited by many social media professionals that social media might just be the new word of mouth. With less and less people actually talking to each other on the phone or in person, and as more people communicate online, it’s fair to say that social media has changed the way we communicate. As such, it has also changed the way businesses reach out to their target markets. Below are some arguments for why social media is the new word of mouth, and how this affects business owners.

word of mouth marketing

People Talk Online

From the Facebook friend who tells way too much about her life, to the a Twitter follower that tweets about the latest political news, social media is one of the major channels people communicate nowadays. Instead of meeting up for coffee or getting together in person, although it’s still done, most communication is done online, via chats or instant messaging. If most communication is done online, then your business needs to be online and be part of that conversation, as well. Among the subjects discussed, businesses – whether they are a local restaurants or a chain stores – are one of the hot topics. Finding out how your target audience and customers feel about your business, what they’re looking for, and what they expect can help them make strategic decisions going forward.

Social Media is Free Advertising

Even if you don’t pay for advertising on social media, you can still obtain what amounts to free advertising despite certain channels decreasing their organic news feed by engaging with your customers and prospects through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Vine and other such social media outlets. Just as word of mouth is free advertising in that people will talk up your business without you having to pay them, people will tweet, post, share, like and chat about your business on social media, as well. In this way, social media is word of mouth amplified and expanded to a global stage.

Honesty Will Prevail

If you’re not paying someone to say a certain thing or promote your business, you can be sure they’ll sound off honestly about their experience with or perception of your business. Good or bad, just follow and monitor your brand on social media, and you will soon come up with a great campaign of how people see your business and their sentiment. If you can’t find any conversations about your business, that also gives you information: you aren’t being found online at all. In this case, it’s time to spark an online conversation about your brand, products and services.

What it Means For You

As a business owner, all of this information essentially means that by getting your business on social media, you can encourage global word of mouth. The advantage, is that social media is free advertising and word of mouth allows you as the business owner to listen in on by following the conversations pertaining to and surrounding your business. Listen well and you can use the information you obtain to craft products, services, and offerings that are geared towards customer satisfaction.