Social Media IS Word-of-Mouth…right?

Let me give you four numbers from an Small to Mid Sized Business (SMB) survey I read recently:

  1. 35% of SMBs plan to invest in Marketing in 2012 (the top area for investment).
  2. 25% of SMBs believe Word of Mouth will be their primary source of getting customers.  (Tied with Repeat Business) (Social Media was 5th, just ahead of Other).
  3. 40% of SMBs don’t plan to use social media tools next year.
  4. 37% of SMBs won’t use Social Media BECAUSE their business relies on word-of-mouth as a referral source.
Huh???  I’m confused.  Or at the very least I think some SMBs are confused.  No matter how I do the math or cross-multiply and divide I come to the conclusion that:  Some percentage of SMBs who will be doing marketing as a top priority and believe Word-of-Mouth will bring them customers, won’t be using Social Media Tools BECAUSE their business relies on said Word-of-Mouth.  Huh?
Social Media is Word of Mouth
Let me give you an “original” thought – not from a survey:
In 2012, a huge part of Marketing is Social Media.
Now a second, more important “original” thought:
In 2012, SOCIAL MEDIA is WORD-OF-MOUTH.
Social Media is so word-of-mouth, the phrase should be changed to word-of-mobile or word-of-digital-device.
Whether you are an SMB and you believe and will spend in Marketing or you’re an SMB who doesn’t want to spend money on “Capital M Evil arketing”, but believes that Word-of-Mouth will make it rain – you should be doing something with Social Media.  You shold be doing this because:
  1. In 2012, a huge part of Marketing is Social Media.
  2. In 2012, Social Media IS word-of-mouth.
And, this just in…
    3.  This trend will continue in 2013.  And 2014.  And 2015.

 

In the early 1900′s Mark Twain popularized the phrase “There are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”  Over time this phrase has endured and spread throughout our society.  I would venture to say it spread a little bit through independent reading of Twain’s works and a lot through “word-of-mouth”.  The point of the phrase is that numbers can tell a lot of different stories depending on how they are read and who they are read by.  Maybe I read these numbers wrong and maybe these all make sense to you…I’d love to hear your interpretation.  Check out the full survey here and send me you thoughts via social media on Twitter to @BS_is_me (that’s no lie).

We understand the challenges of SMBs – we are one and we work with hundreds of them on a daily basis.  We strive to design solutions that provide value without onerous effort or time constraints.

IN 2012 SOCIAL MEDIA IS WORD-OF-MOUTH.  Let me say that again:  IN 2012 SOCIAL MEDIA IS WORD-OF-MOUTH.