It's safe to say that social media has forever changed the way we make recommendations about any product or brand.
Marketers have known for years that word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is the most credible form of advertising because promoters don't stand to gain anything personally by recommending the product and are even willing to put their own reputations on the line. It's a good day for a brand when satisfied customers happily share and swap their views about products and experiences.
So in the digital world, where should we be focusing to best generate the WOMM energy?
Well, according to Social Media Link's recent survey of over 10,000 "connected" consumers (93% of them female by the way), Facebook is the most trusted online platform for product and service recommendations. Household product reviews are trusted the most.
What leads customers to share?
It's all in the vein of good will. Most want to help others be informed and they want to share their opinion with others. I was happy to learn that 78% of respondents said that they usually share product/service experiences when they have had a positive experience (vs. 47% sharing negative reviews).
What makes the review trustworthy?
A personal touch goes a long way. 40% say that an individual's story and experience with the product or service influences their decision the most. 34% value a list of pros and cons so they can make the most informed decision. In light of this, encouraging your customers to share their stories will go a lot further than simply pushing your own brand messaging.
I should also note that while reviews from family and friends ranked highest, paid blog reviews were trusted the least.
With these findings, brands can better understand what motivates and drives a customer recommendation and use that knowledge to better plan your influencer strategy - especially if you're targeting women!