The Facebook phenomenon has the marketing world abuzz. Understandably too, as this social media giant has risen to be the most influential of all online social media, and has aptly been described as “word of mouth on steroids.” Yet how much real influence does Facebook have when statistics show that fewer than 1% of brand fans on Facebook have any type of active involvement, and links to brands that are shared reach only 5-10 people?
In contrast to these meagre stats, new research from Ed Keller and Brad Fay’s ‘The Face to Face Book – Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace’ found that 90% of word-of-mouth conversations about brands take place offline, primarily face-to-face, in people’s homes and offices, in restaurants and stores, really anywhere people congregate. These conversations bring with them greater credibility, authenticity, a greater desire to share with others, and a great likelihood to purchase the products being discussed than conversations that take place online.
Today’s consumer marketplace is highly social, but not because of particular platforms or technologies. The businesses that will be the most successful in the future are the ones that embrace a model that puts people – rather than technology – at the center of products, campaigns and market strategies. Those who achieve the greatest success will recognize that there are many ways to tap the power of today’s social consumer.
The great social wave is an opportunity that no business can afford to ignore or look at myopically. It’s happening all around us – and to the continuing surprise of many, it’s mostly happening face-to-face.