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What Motivates Your Customers to Spread the Word?

October 21, 2013

Word-of-mouth advertising is a powerful marketing force, and it has evolved with the explosion of social media. Most of us assume that word-of-mouth looks the same whether done in-person or online, but recent research refutes that. So, where are consumers talking about the brands they love or hate? And what motivates them to talk at all? The answers vary widely from channel to channel, and they may surprise you.

 Research* has shown that:

  • Only 10% of word-of-mouth is done online. Incredibly, 90% is still done offline.
  • The reasons people share product/service experiences are different, depending on the channel. For social media users, the main motivator for sharing is social… a desire to belong, to achieve status, and to interact with others. The primary motivator for offline sharing is emotional… a desire to share good or bad experiences and the emotions they created.
  • The types of products/services talked about online vs. offline are different. Two thirds of online sharing is about cars, technology products, and entertainment. Offline, the conversations are more diverse, covered a wider berth of categories like food and dining, beverages, media, entertainment and telecommunications.

So, how can you translate this research into action? By knowing your story and what about it motivates your customers to talk about it. Because home buying is so emotional, in-person word-of-mouth still tends to be a more natural fit than social media word-of-mouth.  So the takeaway is that both channels have something to offer if you understand what motivates your customers.

*Source: ttp://www.kellerfay.com/insights/what-drives-online-vs-offline-word-of-mouth-major-differences-revealed-in-new-academic-study/

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