Tag Archives: facebook

Are Social Networks The New Word Of Mouth?

12 Jan

Okay so this is not a brilliant title, but it is a question that I have long tussled with. On the one hand it is obvious for anyone to see that social networks can group large number of friends together quickly, better than that, all your friends are together in one place; something that I doubt is often achievable unless it’s your wedding day. On the other hand is the way people live through social networks an exasperated version of themselves?

As a individual marketing tool, it can propel people to the top of the social calendar, like when are the host of regular or unforgettable parties. Sure on the the face of it you are as popular as can be, but is that popularity a merely superficial status with little or no meaning behind it based on an embellished identity. Is someone who has 300 friends on facebook really going a better carrier of a message than someone with 100 friends?

Here I must admit I’m slightly stumped for an answer, as it comes down to the individual, while 300 facebook friends seems a dilution of attention and therefore one has to question the friendship bond and thus influential status, however one must also pay kudos to their individual reach.

I look at Myspace, which became the tool of indie artist to express and get themselves out there. With a little help from friends (known and unknown) you can increase notoriety and achieve fame just like Lily Allan. This was the success of Myspace, which lent itself to a new generation of networks to be born. So what of Facebook, if I say something exempary about a brand, will anyone listen? will they care? and how can marketeers capitalise on this? what is a friend worth to a brand?

Ultimately, the power that an individual has to influence a group rest in the respect the invidual has earned, this maybe through exempartory achievements which are sporn through success and/or high social integration. I’m a firm believer that if you say something in context on a network or otherwise then people will listen and the word of mouth affect will work. However, the right people still have to say it? the quality of friendship is more important than quantity. In essence old principals still apply and while social networks can be used as word of mouth tools, but in my opinion conversations on them are too short to have the impact that an enthused individual down the pub will have.

How can marketers capitalise on social networks? well nothing comes for free in this world and it is still about the right message, delievered in the right way to the right people. This article from chasnote.com talks more about ROI in social media, but one things brands do need to be aware of and that is of negative PR, which on will spread like wild fire, and have numerous groups formed around the issue, my favourite I HATE EXAMS.