We did a story in 2009 about the possibility that social networking sites have allowed for a new version of having a pen pal. I’ve been pondering more out of social networking lately and it crossed my mind that social sites have allowed for a new form of word of mouth.
Word of mouth was once deemed the best form of marketing – when cast in a positive light. Word of mouth is free and spread by a trusted source. It wasn’t encouraged by a business,, but from peer to peer. But word of mouth has changed forms, in a sense. People still talk at school, work, or on the phone; however, social networking sites have allowed for an additional forum for peer to peer talk.
Social netwokibg sites like facebook, myspace, Twitter, and yelp have allowed peers to speak to eaach other about great sales, services, companies, etc. Yelp was recently hit with a lawsuit regarding their rating techniques by a business. Businesses are worried that their image is being misrepresented. If you think back to word of mouth, it can be good or bad. It is all based on how the consumer views the company it’s products and/or services. So why should companies be outraged by what people are doing or saying on social networking sites?
If a company wants good reviews, then it is their responsibility to provide great products and customer service. Social networking is a way of open, honest communication that reaches millions. Create a positive business and the payback should be immense with such a large forum talking about their business practices.