The Digital Vibes

Word of Mouth 101: Organic vs Amplified
June 1, 2008, 10:15 am
Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , ,

I’m again citing from the WOMMA’s guide to word of mouth (WOM) marketing, this time outlining the differences between organic (user as origin) WOM and amplified (organization as origin) WOM.

Organic WOM occurs naturally when people become advocates because they are happy with a product and have a natural desire to share their support and enthusiasm. Practices that enhance organic word of mouth activity include:

  • Focusing on customer satisfaction
  • Improving product quality and usability
  • Responding to concerns and criticism
  • Opening a dialog and listening to people
  • Earning customer loyalty

Amplified WOM occurs when marketers launch campaigns designed to encourage or accelerate WOM in existing or new communities. Practices that amplify word of mouth activity include:

  • Creating communities
  • Developing tools that enable people to share their opinions
  • Motivating advocates and evangelists to actively promote a product
  • Giving advocates information that they can share
  • Using advertising or publicity designed to create buzz or start a conversation
  • Identifying and reaching out to influential individuals and communities
  • Researching and tracking online conversation

It is undoubtedly beneficial to your organization or client should organic WOM already exist on the web, but more importantly it’s what kind of amplified WOM you can inject to start conversation about the organization or its products and services. To start, it’s important to know what is currently being said on the Internet, and if you haven’t already it’s time to start arming yourself with tools to find out.