What happened to Word Of Mouth Marketing?
In the online marketing buzz, “Social Media Marketing” is akin to the Internet business frenzy about “Web 2.0″. It’s what everyone is talking about, even this blog.
Interesting numbers, but it may seem unsurprising (if not low) to those who are acquainted with Word-Of-Mouth Marketing (WOMM), which usually see numbers showing that 80% of consumers consider WOM as the most trusted source of information. Those are numbers frequently mentioned by BzzAgent.
Indeed maybe it’s time for those who want to do some Social Media Marketing, to get a refresher on Word-of-Mouth Marketing and how it applies to SEO…
Word of Mouth Marketing
Word-of-Mouth marketing can be a pretty expansive term that encompasses offline and online activities.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Associations (WOMMA) describes WOMM as:
“Giving people a reason to talk about your products and services [DR: sounds like Linkbaiting], and making it easier for that conversation to take place [DR: sounds like Social Media Optimization].”
Sounds familiar to “Social Media Marketers”, non?
See what the WOMMA describes as covered under Word-of-Mouth:
Again, a very expansive list but also nicely overlaps with many things that Online PR folks and Social Media Marketing folks do, from blog outreach to linkbait.
Social Media Marketing as a Bigger Picture, Not an SEO Tool
So why does this matter? David Wilson said that at he felt SES and of the SEO World:
“The SEO field needs to stop thinking of social media optimization as a short-term tactic that they can use to game the search engines. Not everything needs to center around a companyâ€™s URL.”
I think if SEO folks and even the newly emerging Social Media Marketers take a lesson from the more established world of Word of Mouth marketing, they would have a greater sense of appreciation of understand SMM/SMO is part of a greater marketing/pr activity that “can be used to help their business improve customer satisfaction and gain market share.”
I highly recommend that all Search/Social Media Marketers read WOMMA’s Word of Mouth 101.
Note: My employer, e-Storm International, is a member of WOMMA.