People love to talk. They talk about cars, TV shows, new blockbuster movies, foods and the stuff they use every day. In fact, you may not even realize it yet that people are talking about you and what you sell right now. It might be a light mention or it could be disparaging attack. Or it might be something really nice that get posted on where 20 million of people will read it and decides to buy your books.

Of course, this is what you would like to happen. Word of mouth marketing is about earning that good conversation. It really doesn’t matter whether you are selling real estate, automobiles or internet marketing products. So now you might be wondering what is word of mouth marketing? It can be defined as “Giving people something to talk about to allow the conversations to take place”.

One of the great myths associated with the concept of word of mouth marketing is that it only happens online. It is undeniable that the role of the internet in our daily life has made it indisputably critical components of the sudden spread of word of mouth. Blogs are often seen as the powerful source to spread word of mouth as it endures sharing of ideas with large community of people.

But that’s only a small fraction of it. About 20 % of word of mouth takes place online while the other 80 % happens face-to-face. It is common for us to recommend to our friends and family the stuff that we use and had tremendous benefits out of it. For instance, you go to a new restaurant that just open up in your area. The food was nice and you had great moments there which make you happy about. So the next day, you go to the work and mention it to your colleagues in the office. So the other day, one of your colleagues brought his entire family to the new restaurant for lunch. The wife then recommends it to her friends and blogs about it. Someone read the reviews online and calls a buddy about eating there.  So now you get the idea that word of mouth can happen both online and face-to-face.

So what about the negative ones? Now you might be wondering “What if people say bad things about you?” My answer would be too late- if it’s going to happen, it will happen. I know it’s uncomfortable. Imagine that when for the first time when you type in your company’s name or your product’s name in the Internet, it’s usually a real surprise. It feels like walking into a crowded party when the laughter suddenly stops and everyone is looking at you. However, it’s different. Instead, everyone is waiting for you to join the conversation. People are listening and they want you to be in.

So you only have two choices now- let people talk about you, spread rumors like wildfire and get it wrong or join in, engage and make it work for you.

Image: David Castillo Dominici /

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