Where Word-of-Mouth Marketing Happens

A couple of weeks ago, as I was perusing our Twitter stream, I saw this tweet:

Word-of-mouth conversations happen all the time, whether it’s sponsored by a brand or simply friends sharing their latest and greatest finds. And while social media has been a wonderful tool to enhance this very old practice, it is true that most word-of-mouth type conversations still happen offline, even as much as 90%. [source]

Why then does social media and online marketing get so much attention when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing? For those that do spend a lot of time online, the Internet is where they often go first to get information about potential purchases, everything from cars to electronics to music to restaurants. It’s been shown that “90% of consumers online trust recommendations from people they know; 70% trust opinions of unknown users.” (Econsultancy, July 2009)

That’s where the community aspect of blogging becomes very tangible. When you have formed relationships with your readers, you end up in the category of “people they know” and they’re more likely to trust what you have to say about that product or service. A survey from Manage Smarter (Sept 2009) says, “Eighty-three percent of online shoppers said they are interested in sharing information about their purchases with people they know, while 74 percent are influenced by the opinions of others in their decision to buy the product in the first place.”

Recommendations from family and friends trump all other consumer touchpoints when it comes to influencing purchases, according to ZenithOptimedia. (AdAge, April, 2008)

Over the past several years, the way information is spread via word-of-mouth has significantly changed. You may remember your mom and next door neighbor trading tips on which food brands were best or dad and his buddies regaling the finer points and downfalls of automobile makers. That information was retained until the next time came to make purchases.

The average consumer mentions specific brands 60 times per week in conversations with friends, family, and co-workers. (Keller Fay, WOMMA, 2010)

Nowadays, if you’re curious about the difference between brands of spaghetti sauce or what quirks to expect from a certain kind of car, you still ask friends and family AND you look to the Internet. New media has a very big role when it comes to online word-of-mouth with impressive ROI results, “53% of people on Twitter recommend companies and/or products in their tweets, with 48% of them delivering on their intention to buy the product.” (ROI Research for Performance, June 2010) and “Facebook, blogs, Twitter and customer reviews are considered the most effective tactics for mobilizing consumers to talk up products online.” (Etailing survey of 117 companies, September 2009)

Members of One2One Network are the movers and shakers of the online word-of-mouth movement. They are Internet savvy, effective communicators and have a knack for creating community. We hope you all know how valuable your contributions are to the projects we bring to you!

Quoted statistics are from Bazaarvoice, unless otherwise linked. Images from iCLIPART.


  1. Great post Malia! The value of word of mouth hasn’t changed but the way it’s delivered has evolved. It really IS fun to be able to share new products and services with our members and watch the buzz build. 🙂

  2. Great post Malia and agreed Barbara! The way word of mouth spreads is definitely changing and with the onset of social media, there is now a whole new way for it to spread. I know I turn to Twitter and Facebook now for more information or opinions on things before I make a big purchase!

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