With the proliferation of smart phones, consumers have access to the Internet at their fingertips, wherever they go. Looking to catch a good movie later tonight? Forget about buying a newspaper and reading critic reviews. Instead, many people use their iPhones and Androids to read consumer reviews on Fandango and Rotten Tomato. With an abundance of information at our disposal, have we stopped relying on the good word of our friends and family?
Such is one of the many questions asked in a study conducted by Google and Keller Fay, a Word of Mouth Research and Marketing firm. Despite the ease of finding information on the Internet within seconds, the study concludes that the overwhelming majority of word of mouth conversations still occur face to face, at about 82%. The study also considers the influence of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. If I read Joe’s tweet about how Transformers 3 deserves an Oscar, shouldn’t that be the equivalent of an offline word of mouth conservation?
Yes, but despite the growth of social media, search is the leader in motivating WOM conversations online and the number one source for people to find information on a topic. In addition, Google alone contributes to almost 10% of conservations with a total of 146 million brand conversations per day. Furthermore, search is more credible(25%) and more likely to lead to purchase(17%) than social media sites.
There’s still plenty of information I didn’t mention, but I recommend that those interested should read the various studies the Google Think Insights project has conducted. They are all free to view, and cover numerous relevant niches from automative to education. Also, you can view the full report on Word of Mouth and the Internet.
Related: What’s the Biggest Online Source to Drive Word of Mouth? The Answer Might Surprise You. – Keller Fay