How Social Media Acts As Online Word Of Mouth
Regardless of age or location, the vast majority of those affiliated with the music industry have in some way participated in a social network, as connections on social media grow to replace some traditional means of communication, its role in word of mouth marketing becomes more important.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
Social networks are now part of the fabric of our lives. Regardless of your age and where you live in the world, chances are that you’ve recently participated in a social network in some way. If we just look at the major social networks, we find that they have an enormous number of users. Facebook now has over two billion users and YouTube over a billion, which means that if they were countries, either one could be the third largest in the world! That said, it’s important to keep in mind that at one time MySpace was the most visited site on the Internet (yes, even more than Google for a bit) with more than 100 million active users at its peak, so the social world can change quickly.
Facebook is really the 800 pound gorilla in the social network world at the moment though, and the average user has around 155 Facebook friends. This piece of info is important since it’s been estimated by Facebook itself that you can be connected to 2.3 billion people on the planet by only three and half people! Think of the promotional possibilities just within your near sphere of influence as a result!
That tiny bit of info goes to prove a point. Social media is really online word-of-mouth. This is important because it’s been long established that word-of-mouth is the most effective form of advertising and promotion, and some new research from Nielsen backs the premise up yet again. In its most recent “Global Trust In Advertising Survey,” the research company determined that:
- 83% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family above all else, compared to only 48% who trust online advertising.
- Online consumer reviews were the second most trusted form of advertising at 66%, which continues to hold steady year after year.
What this boils down to is that word of mouth always has been, and still is the most trusted form of promotion available, regardless of whether it’s in-person or online. The only difference is that it’s so much more powerful when done online.
Imagine having a face-to-face conversation with one of your friends and saying, “Dude, I am so happy with this new project that I’ve been working on with Dave Grohl. I put a lot of work into it, but it was worth it because I think it’s coming out great.” Somewhere down the road, that friend might then say to one of his friends, “I heard that John (you) was working on a pretty cool project with Dave Grohl and it’s coming out great,” who then tells another friend, who tells another friend. Before you know it, each friend has told anywhere from three to five friends (according to a study by Ford Motor Company done in 1986), depending upon how relevant and juicy the news was.
Now imagine posting the same news on Facebook, Twitter or any social network. You’ve now multiplied that reach by hundreds or thousands. Not only will your fans and followers repost your news online, but they’ll probably physically tell their friends as well. This goes to show what a massive force-multiplier social media can be when it comes to promotion, especially when you consider the 155 average friends that each of your Facebook friends have.
This was a excerpt from the latest second edition of my Social Media Promotion For Musicians book. You can read more from The Social Media Promotion For Musicians and my other books on the excerpt section of bobbyowsinski.com.