Marketers who underestimate the power of word-of-mouth and put all their eggs into the mass media basket are clueless and wasting valuable time and money! Matt Rhodes' post about Recommendations - 25% more influence than adverts in social networks is spot-on! Here's an excerpt:
They make purchase decisions based on things they read in social media, and on social networks, but are more likely to be influenced by recommendations from other users than they are from advertising. This is why word of mouth is so important in a social media context and why brands should be making the most of and amplifying the organic natural discussions that are out there, rather than necessarily advertising in the way they always have done.
At Kursaal Oostende we depend on positive word-of-mouth to sell theatre tickets. It's a product no-one can 'test' or 'experience' in advance. There's no 'money back guarantee' or other refunds. It has to be an incredible experience for that first visitor that watches the show and we hope that person tells all his friends what an amazing show it was.
We always use and will keep using mass media to put the message out. We have to reach a lot of people in order to fill our seats, something that would be hard to achieve using only social media. you need a solid foundation of people who are curious enough to come and watch without knowing if they will like it. So we use mass media to tease them into coming. But seeing as we're an extremely customer dependent business...
But social media can give us that edge. We now have the possibility to communicate with our customers and make quick adjustements where needed. We can participate in a positive word-of-mouth, create an environment within the social media space where we can properly follow the conversation, learn and try to give our customers a great experience. But we have to act now and don't let it go by. All our customers have access to unlimited social media, if we don't follow, we'll fall behind and it'll be hard to catch up.
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