Kelly Scott Madison

Social is the New Search

02/11/2016

 

Word-of-mouth on social is now more important than ever 

Word-of-mouth has always been a powerful tool for finding and choosing new products or services. Even with advances in digital technology and new ways to reach consumers, word-of-mouth continues to be one of the top consumer influencers.In a MarketingSherpa poll from August 2015, 57 percent of respondents cited word-of-mouth as one of the best ways to discover new products, beating out a multitude of other sources including search engines, offline and online advertising.However, advances in technology over the past few years have provided word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews a new mass platform: social media. The Internet has infused new reach and power into word-of-mouth and accessing it has never been easier thanks to new search capabilities.

The word “search” automatically evokes the names of Google or Bing, but when it comes to finding word-of-mouth recommendations online, the big players often fall short. Social media platforms, where digital word-of-mouth typically lives, have a variety of privacy controls and firewalls that make it hard for search engines to access them, and due to privacy issues, integrating personal social interactions into search engine results never took off. Twitter has resisted access from Google, using technological barriers to block its content from being ranked on the engine. Facebook also resisted integrating its content into search engines, and instead partnered with Bing to power their own internal search technology called Graph Search. In the absence of data from major players like Facebook and Twitter, Google created its own network called Google+, but few users were motivated to add yet another platform to their list for the simple benefit of having socially integrated search results. This means that established...


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