Social Media: The New Word of Mouth


If you ever took a marketing class in school, you learned that word-of-mouth is the best kind of marketing. Wikipedia defines word of mouth marketing as:

Word of mouth is a reference to the passing of information from person to person. Originally the term referred specifically to oral communication (literally words from the mouth), but now includes any type of human communication, such as face to face, telephone, email, and text messaging.

In this article, I’m going to discuss how, when utilized properly, Social Media networks are the foundation of a new type of word-of-mouth. This new marketing is different than old marketing. Mainly because of the time it takes for one person to make a recommendation to someone else over an existing social network. We see this all the time, we just don’t know it. A great example is product reviews on things like blogs. One person posts the review on the blog, and people read it. This is word of mouth marketing, just in a different form.

The reason word of mouth marketing is so effective is because its personal. Humans are the most social creature on Earth, and this is directly reflected in marketing. Remember, word of mouth marketing doesn’t mean that it has to be someone that a person knows who is passing them information, just that it be a personal exchange. Either face to face, over the phone, etc. Information like this is passed in huge numbers all of the time. In fact, according to Internet Retailer Magazine, Facebook is now more popular then email.

Whenever you pass information on to someone using the internet, whether it be email, a blog post, a forum, or even something like Twitter, that is word of mouth. Now the question is, how do you take advantage of this enormous advertising potential? Simple, you pass on information. Write blog articles about your business, post comments on blogs, send emails, post in forums. Actively participating in social media is the only way to take advantage of it. Once you participate in the community, you become part of the community, and then you have the ability to spread your message throughout the community.

In essence, like normal word of mouth marketing, social media marketing is the hardest path to undertake, but the most rewarding in the end. By tapping into resources like facebook, blogs, etc however, your job can be a little bit easier.


Cory is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from Eastern Connecticut State University. Cory is skilled in XHTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, C/C++, and Objective-C. Cory has extensive knowledge of open source software, and participates in the development of well-known software projects, such as Mozilla Firefox and Drupal.

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