Why Word Of Mouth Marketing Is The Most Important Social Media (2022)

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM). Isn’t this really the original social media platform? I grew up with the famous Faberge commercial that showed a woman who “told 2 friends” about the product and how “they told 2 friends … and so on … and so on”. Hasn’t WOM always been a powerful way to influence business results?

I attended a conference where I heard several experts on different types of social and mobile marketing present. Suzanne Fanning, President of WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association), gave a very interesting, data-based presentation on the power of WOMM and contemporary efforts to create experiences worthy of being passed from person-to-person. What follows are thoughts she shared with me regarding the importance of WOMM and examples of how marketers are taking advantage of its power.

Why should Marketers care about WOMM?

(Video) Why Word Of Mouth Marketing Is the Most Important Social Media

If you could master what has been identified as the most valuable form of marketing—the one that consumers trust above all others and the one that is most likely to drive sales for your company — would you instead choose to ignore it or leave it to chance?

Why would you simply choose to sit back and hope conversations will just happen organically about your brand? If you want to win the marketing race in 2015, you need to unleash the power of word of mouth.

Let’s look at the facts. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. WOMMA and the American Marketing Association (AMA) decided to find out exactly what brands were doing about that fact. In a recent study, 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. However, only 6% say they have mastered it.

If consumers value word of mouth and marketers believe it is effective, then why aren’t marketers more focused on it?

The problem is that for the last few years, marketers have been focused on “collecting” instead of “connecting.” In other words, brands are too caught up in collecting social media fans and they are forgetting to actually connect with them. Having 100 really passionate fans that love your brand or product is exponentially more effective than having 10,000 “fans” who signed up just to win a free iPad from you.

Just like in life—if you have to buy your friends, are they really your friends?

(Video) Why Word-of-Mouth is the Best Marketing Promotion (Advertising / Communication) #MarketingMinute 105

And why should we stop at likes anyway? Why not shoot for LOVE.

Marketers used to focus on the 4 P’s. You probably had them drilled into your head as you pursued your marketing degree. Well, now marketers need to focus on the three E’s: Engage, Equip, Empower. If you can master these, you can become the most beloved and talked about product in your category, which will ultimately lead to increased sales. We’ve seen a good WOMM campaign generate thousands of conversations, recommendations and triple sales in just a year (yes, even for the boring products).

Can you explain the Three E’s in more detail?

Engage—Give your fans the gift of you. Engage with them. Listen to what they are telling you. Be part of the conversation about your brand. Be a presence in your fans’ lives. @NikeSupport is a prime example of customer service done well. They constantly respond to followers on Twitter, whether it’s about their apparel, Fuel Band or other products. Every few minutes, you can watch them respond to someone new.

Equip—Give them reasons to talk. It can be amazing products, great service, insider knowledge, social elevation, incredible stories, unbelievable facts or even funny disclosures. It’s on you. It really depends on you understanding your consumers and what they like about you and providing whatever it is they need from you. Apple revolutionizes technological devices and delivers amazing products to its consumers, allowing them to naturally raze about the newest iPhone. Another area to excel in and that’s on the rise is social customer service.

Empower—Give consumers different ways to talk and share. Let them know that they are important to you and that sharing their opinions is important to you. Help them find ways to share within their circles and find ways to help move their conversations around. Lay’s is an excellent example to highlight how they empowered their fans to “Do Us a Flavor,” and allow consumers to create a new flavor of potato chips to hit store shelves. Over 3.8 million submissions were sent in 2013 making it one of the biggest marketing campaigns for PepsiCo owned Frito-Lay.

(Video) Why Word of Mouth Is So Important In Marketing | Jonah Berger

If WOMM has been around for a long time, why should it be a focus now?

You are right. It has been around, well, since cavemen roamed the earth. It’s likely that one caveman told another about a popular hunting area (… and so on and so on) and ultimately that turned the site into the most popular hunting area in their cave community.

It worked then, and it will work now. However, technology has increased social connectivity making it easier than ever for consumers to do your marketing for you. A post that takes just a few minutes for a fan to write will be seen by hundreds of friends who trust them, and it can rapidly travel out to thousands more. Very well planned messages have been shared by millions within the span of days. Look at the Epic Split video by Volvo featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme, the video was released on YouTube on November 14, and on the first day the film was viewed over 6.5 million times and shared over 32 thousand times. Then in four weeks it was shared over 6 million times across social networks. It quickly became the most shared film on YouTube. The clip has received extensive media coverage from all over the world as well, and has been the subject of approximately 20,000 editorial pieces online thus far. No disrespect to our cave friends, but it was not possible to achieve those kind of results without technology. You should also consider the fact that those who read the post could potentially have millions of offline conversations with friends, families, acquaintances or even consumers looking perplexed in store aisles.

Fueling conversations and driving passion will make a huge difference for your brand.

Are there any consistent characteristics that successful WOMM campaigns tend to have?

Keep in mind that a good WOMM strategy is credible, social, repeatable, measurable and respectful. Dishonesty is NEVER acceptable.

(Video) How word of mouth really works | Chris Cowan | TEDxLondonBusinessSchool

Do you have any case studies you can share?

These three unforgettable WOMMY winners can help showcase the power of word of mouth.

Marina Maher Communications won a WOMMY in the Influencer category for their Kimberly-Clark campaign. The Depend team created The Great American Try On to take the issue out of the bathroom into the most public of places, recruiting celebrities and football players -- who don’t need Depend – to try it on, tell America how they felt, and ask them to try it too and support two relevant charitable causes. Sampling requests increased by 720% vs. sample requests for a new product launch a year prior.

M Booth received a WOMMY in the Introduction category for their work on Canvas Lands’ End. The brand launched Canvas Lands' End - a new collection geared to the younger millennial segment of the population by partnering with eight established bloggers to create the first-ever virtual "blog-up shop" series. The campaign earned $105K in sales and generated 60 million earned media impressions on blogger partner sites.

WOMMA recognized Zeno Group with an Engagement award for their Seattle's Best "Black Friday Coffee Break" campaign, which focused on a segment of the target - retail workers - by offering free coffee to those working on Black Friday. Consumers leveraged the program through an interactive Facebook application. New fans were encouraged to "like" the page and choose from the following options: Have a free sample of Seattle's Best Coffee sent straight to your mailbox, stop by a participating retail location for a free cup of brewed coffee on Black Friday, or print a $2 off coupon. The brand received 125 million total impressions in two weeks and 6 million YouTube impressions.

Being talked about requires a strategy and a plan that goes beyond “likes”. It requires deeper insight about your customers. As John Moore, marketer for Starbucks and Whole Foods says, “If people are not talking about you, they are forgetting about you.” The WOMMA’s mission is to help marketers master this method, so take advantage of their expertise. To get you excited, take a look at this video montage WOMMA put together.

(Video) Social Media and Word-of-Mouth Marketing // #MarketingMinute 113

If you have a great example of a successful WOMM activity, please leave a comment or tweet it @KimWhitler

Suzanne Fanning is the President of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), the official trade association for the word of mouth and social media marketing industry. Her social strategies have been featured in Advertising Age Magazine, Fast Company, Forbes Magazine, and PR Week.

FAQs

Why word of mouth marketing is the most important social media? ›

Why is WOM Marketing Important? Consumers trust their friends. This is why word of mouth marketing is the most valuable source of marketing. According to a Nielsen study, 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than they do advertising - this stat alone solidified the word of mouth use case.

Why is word of mouth marketing so important? ›

Word-of-mouth marketing helps a company reach new audiences and build a positive brand reputation. By using this unique and organic means of marketing, businesses can attract customers and increase profitability all while strengthening their connection with their existing patrons.

Why is social media marketing important and what is its best use? ›

Social media allows marketers to connect and engage potential customers where they are at: LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and even some of the younger platforms like TikTok. With a strong social media strategy and the ability to create engaging content, marketers can engage their audience.

Is word of mouth marketing the most effective? ›

Word-of-mouth is even more effective than paid ads, resulting in five times more sales. 28% of people say that word-of-mouth increases brand affinity (a customer's common values with a brand). 64% of marketers agree that word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing.

Is word-of-mouth enough? ›

Word of mouth can have a huge impact on the success of your business, but you can't rely solely on word of mouth to thrive (or even survive). Positive word of mouth needs to be encouraged and amplified, especially through mass reach media like radio advertising.

What is word of mouth marketing give 5 examples? ›

What Is Word-of-Mouth Marketing? Word-of-mouth marketing refers to the actions brands take to get consumers talking about their products or services with other consumers. Examples include product giveaways, brand ambassador programs and buzzworthy experiences created for customers and influencers.

What do you mean by word of mouth marketing? ›

Word of mouth marketing is a tactic used to generate natural discussions about and recommendations for a product or company. Essentially, getting people to talk about your brand, product, or business is the goal of this type of marketing.

What is the most effective way of marketing? ›

If you are looking for the overall most effective marketing strategy for small business, content marketing is the winner. Content marketing encompasses blogs, videos, social media posts, podcasts, webinars, and more – basically, any type of content you can distribute online falls into this category.

How online word-of-mouth occurs on social media? ›

Word-of-mouth marketing involves spreading awareness about a brand through referrals and recommendations. These may be in the form of casual conversations where you rave about a product or service then encourage your network to try it out too.

What is the most important part of social media marketing? ›

The core of effective social media marketing is about speaking to a specific audience with your social posts. And unless you have an intuitive idea of who your target audience really is, you'll need to create audience personas.

Why social media is the best way to advertise? ›

Social media advertising is critical because it allows you to hyper-target specific users, build an audience database and directly track your return on investment. Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.

Why social media is so important for your business? ›

Social media can help you engage with your customers and find out what people are saying about your business. You can also use social media for advertising, promotional giveaways and mobile applications. Social media can help your business to: attract customers, get customer feedback and build customer loyalty.

What makes word-of-mouth so powerful? ›

Word-of-mouth marketing is about real people sharing their thoughts about your brand and products, thereby indirectly encouraging more sales and recommendations for you - like a ripple effect.

Which is better word of mouth marketing or digital marketing in today's world or both? ›

Digital Marketing Is a Must

One of the most important things that business owners in today's world need to understand is that having an online marketing strategy is absolutely necessary. While there is no doubt that internet-less WOM is beneficial, today, businesses are competing in the online realm.

What is word of mouth in business? ›

Word of mouth marketing is a tactic used to generate natural discussions about and recommendations for a product or company. Essentially, getting people to talk about your brand, product, or business is the goal of this type of marketing.

What is word of mouth communication? ›

Word of mouth, or viva voce, is the passing of information from person to person using oral communication, which could be as simple as telling someone the time of day. Storytelling is a common form of word-of-mouth communication where one person tells others a story about a real event or something made up.

How is word of mouth different from advertising? ›

The commercial then requires professional production before it is sent to the television or radio station where the commercial airs. Word of mouth marketing is less formal. Word of mouth advertising involves current customers who talk about your company, product or service to people that they know.

How do you improve word of mouth marketing? ›

Building Your Word-of-Mouth Marketing Strategy
  1. Set up word-of-mouth triggers. ...
  2. Use visual triggers. ...
  3. Do or create something unique. ...
  4. Emotional provocation. ...
  5. Encourage user-generated content (UGC). ...
  6. Push ratings and reviews hard. ...
  7. Create an official referral program. ...
  8. Know your Customer Lifetime Value (LTV).

What is word-of-mouth explain more supporting by example? ›

This means when customers purchase your product, they tell their friends, families, and peers about it and share their experience on social platforms. These customers will likely support and vouch for your product online as well as offline.

How do you use the word-of-mouth in a sentence? ›

: by being told by another person We learned of this great restaurant by word of mouth.

What is a word-of-mouth mean? ›

noun phrase. Definition of word of mouth (Entry 2 of 2) : oral communication especially : oral often inadvertent publicity.

When did word-of-mouth marketing start? ›

In 2003, Fred Reichheld implemented the strategy of word-of-mouth marketing by introducing Net Promoter Score, which analyzes the number of Promoters a brand has, who recommend the brand to other people they know through such marketing tactic.

What is the most important marketing channel? ›

At a glance: The best marketing channels to use for your business
  • Email marketing.
  • Social media marketing.
  • Word of mouth marketing (WOMM)
  • Influencer marketing.
  • Offline advertising.
  • Online advertising.
  • Partnership marketing.
  • Community building.
18 May 2022

What makes a successful marketing strategy? ›

Key elements of a successful marketing strategy
  1. Segmentation. Your existing and potential customers fall into particular groups or segments, characterised by their 'needs'. ...
  2. Targeting and positioning. ...
  3. Promotional tactics. ...
  4. Monitoring and evaluation. ...
  5. Marketing plan.

How marketing can help in growing a business? ›

The importance of marketing for your business is that it makes the customers aware of your products or services, engages them, and helps them make the buying decision. Furthermore, a marketing plan, a part of your business plan helps in creating and maintaining demand, relevance, reputation, competition, etc.

Is social media considered word-of-mouth? ›

It's also important to understand that social media itself isn't word of mouth; it's one way that word of mouth spreads. Word of mouth is a story or verbal recommendation. Social media is a conveyance mechanism for that story.

How much word-of-mouth happens online? ›

Just seven percent of word-of-mouth conversations about brands occurs online.

What is the most important aspect of social media? ›

The most important aspect of social media is making strong connections with your target audience.

What is the importance of social media? ›

Billions of people around the world use social media to share information and make connections. On a personal level, social media allows you to communicate with friends and family, learn new things, develop your interests, and be entertained.

How social media is important in our life? ›

To stay connected with friends and family: The utmost importance of social media is that it helps in staying in touch with our loved ones. You get to know what are your friends or family doing. Even without meeting up too often, social media helps in creating and sustaining that emotional bond.

How effective is social media advertising? ›

Social Media Advertising Effectiveness Statistics

49% of internet users say they are likely to purchase from brands they see advertised on social media. 72% of B2B marketers who use paid marketing channels online use social media as a marketing medium. Instagram's advertising reach is up to 5.7%.

Why is social media marketing important today? ›

Social platforms can help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost your leads and sales. But you need to start with an always-on mindset and a solid content marketing strategy. Quick Takeaways: Social media is an effective way to reach new audiences with engaging content.

Which social media is best for business? ›

Let's dive into our list of the best social media platforms for business.
  1. Facebook.com. ...
  2. Instagram.com. ...
  3. Twitter.com. ...
  4. LinkedIn.com. ...
  5. YouTube.com. ...
  6. Reddit.com. ...
  7. Pinterest.com. ...
  8. Quora.com.
15 Mar 2021

Why is social media important essay? ›

Social media allows the social growth of society and also helps many businesses. It provides tools like social media marketing to reach millions of potential clients. We can easily access information and get news through social media. Social media is an excellent tool for creating awareness about any social cause.

What is the most valuable form of marketing? ›

Whether you're talking or tweeting about it, this excitement to share is what drives word-of-mouth marketing (also called WOM marketing, WOMM, or word-of-mouth advertising). 64% of marketing executives believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing.

How much of marketing is word-of-mouth? ›

Word-of-mouth drives $6 trillion in annual global spending and is responsible for 13% of all sales. Word-of-mouth is even more effective than paid ads, resulting in five times more sales. 64% of marketers agree that word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing.

What is good word of mouth? ›

Word of mouth (WOM) is simply one acquaintance telling another just how good your products or services are, and it works.

How does word of mouth affect consumers? ›

Word of mouth can prompt a consumer to consider a brand or product in a way that incremental advertising spending simply cannot. It's also not a one-hit wonder. The right messages resonate and expand within interested networks, affecting brand perceptions, purchase rates, and market share.

› word-of-mouth-marketing ›

Word of mouth marketing can help boost your company's brand awareness while you keep your budget low. Learn how you can start utilizing the customer/company...
The marketing department is under new management. The only problem? Most people don't recognize the new boss. While most companies are busy inflating their ...
Find out how a word of mouth marketing strategy generates buzz, boosts sales and creates trust - plus tips and examples.

Why is word-of-mouth more effective? ›

The core reason marketers and companies seek word of mouth marketing is because of how powerful it is. If your customers are talking about a brand without provocation, that brand's market presence, reputation, and customer base skyrockets. No work must be done when word of mouth marketing is at play.

Is Social Media Marketing a word-of-mouth? ›

It's also important to understand that social media itself isn't word of mouth; it's one way that word of mouth spreads.

What is social media word-of-mouth? ›

Word of mouth marketing (WOMM), also called word of mouth advertising, is the social media era's version of simple word of mouth. Traditionally, word of mouth marketing was spread from one person to another based on recommendation.

What is the most effective form of marketing? ›

If you are looking for the overall most effective marketing strategy for small business, content marketing is the winner. Content marketing encompasses blogs, videos, social media posts, podcasts, webinars, and more – basically, any type of content you can distribute online falls into this category.

What do you mean by word of mouth marketing? ›

Word of mouth marketing is a tactic used to generate natural discussions about and recommendations for a product or company. Essentially, getting people to talk about your brand, product, or business is the goal of this type of marketing.

How much of marketing is word-of-mouth? ›

Word-of-mouth drives $6 trillion in annual global spending and is responsible for 13% of all sales. Word-of-mouth is even more effective than paid ads, resulting in five times more sales. 64% of marketers agree that word-of-mouth is the most effective form of marketing.

Is word-of-mouth earned media? ›

Word-of-mouth is yet another example of earned media. It's just as impactful as a Yelp review or tweet – and it's free!

What is another word for word-of-mouth? ›

What is another word for word of mouth?
orallyoral message
parolpersonal account
speechspoken communication
spoken wordverbal evidence
viva voce

Which is better word of mouth marketing or digital marketing in today's world or both? ›

Digital Marketing Is a Must

One of the most important things that business owners in today's world need to understand is that having an online marketing strategy is absolutely necessary. While there is no doubt that internet-less WOM is beneficial, today, businesses are competing in the online realm.

How can I improve my word of mouth marketing? ›

7 ways to implement word-of-mouth marketing in your strategy
  1. Encourage user-generated content (UGC) ...
  2. Share customer testimonials/reviews. ...
  3. Get product ratings on your site. ...
  4. Offer an incentive: ...
  5. Create a referral program. ...
  6. Connect with industry influencers and thought leaders.
18 Apr 2021

How do online and social media words of mouth influence consumer Behaviours? ›

81% of consumers' purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends' social media posts. (Forbes) 66% of consumers have been inspired to purchase from a new brand after seeing social media images from other consumers (Stackla) Consumers are 71% more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.

What is the most important marketing channel? ›

At a glance: The best marketing channels to use for your business
  • Email marketing.
  • Social media marketing.
  • Word of mouth marketing (WOMM)
  • Influencer marketing.
  • Offline advertising.
  • Online advertising.
  • Partnership marketing.
  • Community building.
18 May 2022

What makes a successful marketing strategy? ›

Key elements of a successful marketing strategy
  1. Segmentation. Your existing and potential customers fall into particular groups or segments, characterised by their 'needs'. ...
  2. Targeting and positioning. ...
  3. Promotional tactics. ...
  4. Monitoring and evaluation. ...
  5. Marketing plan.

What is the most effective online marketing? ›

5 Most Effective Digital Marketing Techniques
  • Paid Search Advertising. This could be anything from media buys to display ads. ...
  • Email Marketing. Email marketing is still considered one of the most powerful advertising media on the Internet. ...
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ...
  • Social Media Marketing. ...
  • Video Marketing.

Videos

1. Why Word Of Mouth (WOM) Marketing Is Your BEST BET To Succeed
(Trent Kennelly)
2. Is Social Media Marketing vs Word of Mouth Marketing?
(Victoria Shakoor)
3. Do's & Don'ts of Word of Mouth Marketing
(Professor Wolters)
4. Maximize the power of word-of-mouth and social media
(Sina)
5. Why Word of Mouth Marketing Works Better Than Advertising
(Amy Starr Allen)
6. Social Media is Word of Mouth Marketing - Marketing Essentials
(Ratz Pack Media)

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