Word-of-Mouth also known as WOM is a type of buzz marketing, which could turn into viral if the message is addressed appropriately and catchy enough to attract the customer’s attention. WOM has become one of the most important factors when it comes to physical and digital channels. With the advance of the technology, WOM is still one of the most influential elements in regards to customers and their communication about certain product or service (Smart Insight, 2016). In fact when you encounter something new the first thing to do is to share it with your friends, family and people you meet on daily bases what you found and your positive or negative feelings about it.
According to (Lopez and Sicilia, 2014) Word of Mouth plays a vital role with regards to sources of information and at the same time is more trusted, credible and persuasive than commercial information. When using technology it is much easier for the consumer to share information about the encountered brand, product or service and this is making the information viral (Morrison, Cheong and McMillan, 2013).
Why is eWOM so influential?
Share with people: due to the people sharing information, social media, review websites and forums have become so successful. There are several reasons why people share information online. People like the networking and expressing their experience in order to help other and also to be seen as somebody who have a substantial knowledge about the subject and also to be perceived as a person with variety of connections. Therefore eWoM could be seen as a chain, one person share information and then his friends share the information with other friend and so on. This is the reason why eWoM could become viral.
Advice from other people online: 9 times out of 10 when we are looking to make a purchase, we always rely on information shared by other customer about the product or service we are about to buy. There are always numbers of reviews at the bottom of every product, but sometimes they are all positive. Is that true?!? MMMM I don’t think so! We could be tricked with great but false reviews made by the company selling the particular product or service and we could be misled as customers.
Trust in people: Nowadays customers take more into consideration people’s opinion rather than just believe in an advert. This is also known as ‘social proof’. eWoM has a substantial influence on consumer’s buying decision, but this could lead to positive and also to negative impact. One of the disadvantages of eWoM is that you do not know who sits behind the spread information and is it to be trusted. It is also important to know the person’s tone of voice, network and Digital Influence .
Despite the highlighted disadvantage above, eWoM is more powerful than the traditional one due to the fact that via internet you can reach hundreds of people if not thousands and not at least the post or review live forever on the internet and could be seen by anybody at any time.
What are the opportunities when using eWOM?
Monitoring: The traditional way of WOM is spread between individuals, but after a period of time is forgotten and becomes invisible, where as using EWOM stays on the internet for a very long time and could be seen not only by individuals, but companies and also rivalries. EWOM also gives the opportunity to monitor and analyse the BUZZ . By analyzing, you could find how a potential or existing customer feels about your product or service. Sometimes the feedback could be negative, but this is a good chance for you to spot where your mistake is and fix it. People are discussing your product or service and your brand, but do you take a note of what they thing about it???
The diagram above shows the publication per week, but what exactly does that diagram mean??? Most of the companies using online marketing do not have any third party tracking for their sites and even if they do, they could still make errors and don’t read the data correctly and can’t take an appropriate decision about their business.
One of the most important things to do in order for people to share your product or service with other people is to add a share button…. If you still don’t know exactly how it works, please Click here .
Start the BUZZ: this could happen when you create an excellent marketing campaign, which will trigger a response from the readers. Then you just have to monitor and analyse the impact of the Buzz and also use the data to improve your service or product.
Be part of the BUZZ: by having web presence, you could influence your customer or potential ones. When giving a quick response to comments made by somebody, this gave the customer more faith and also more control over what is said so far. Anyway it is impossible to have a full control over the EWOM.
In order to monitor the subject that people are talking about, you can use a useful tool called Kloud Score.
Kloud is a website and mobile app that ranks its users according to online social influence by using Kloud Score – a value which is between 1 and 100. Kloud is an excellent indicator of how influential your social media activities are (Lane, 2015).
E- Word of Mouth in fact could have a devastating impact on your business due to the fact that someone could spread the word of the bad experience with your company. Even if you have your digital presence you still may not be aware that there are negative words in circulation until the actual disappointed customer raises his/her concern.
Mooney, L. 2016, The Disadvantages of Word of Mouth Advertising, [Online] Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/disadvantages-word-mouth-advertising-26133.html (Accessed March 22th 2016).
BuzzTalk Blog, 2012, Electronic Word of Mouth Presents a Window of Opportunity for Businesses, [Online] Available at: http://www.buzztalkmonitor.com/blog/bid/233669/Electronic-Word-Of-Mouth-presents-a-window-of-opportunity-for-businesses (Accessed March 22th 2016).
Smart Insights, 2016, Viral & Word of Mouth Marketing. [Online] Available at: http://www.smartinsights.com/online-pr/viral-marketing/ (Accessed April 12th 2016).
Lane, J. 2015, What is Kloud and What Does my Kloud Score Mean? [Online] Available at: http://rawdigital.training/what-is-klout-how-raise-klout-score/ (Accessed April 12th 2016).
Morrison, A., Cheong, H., and McMillan, S., (2013), “Posting, Lurking, and Networking: Behaviours and Characteristics of Consumers in the Context of User-Generated Content.” Journal of Interactive Advertising, 13 (2), 97–108.
López, M., & Sicilia, M., (2014) eWOM as Source of Influence: The Impact of Participation in eWOM and Perceived Source Trustworthiness on Decision Making. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 14(2), p.86-97