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Word of mouth marketing can be thought of as the oldest form of marketing there is. Imagine before there was any kind of formal media- people would simply ask each other, where do I get the best this or that, and their friends or family would tell them. You trust word of mouth because you trust the people you are talking to- and if you don’t, you probably won’t ask their opinion!

If word of mouth marketing is the oldest type of marketing around, then social media marketing is the newest. First created as a way for people to meet, converse and build community, it is telling that one of the more popular new uses of these still new networks and technologies is to sell, market or advertise things. While social media has great potential for news deliverance, emergency services and the way people experience live events, none of these or any other is making the kind of splash in the pool that social media marketing is.

On the surface, the two are almost the same. People telling other people about things. But here are three main differences to consider:

1. Relationship

You can simply meet hundreds if not thousands of people in social media networks. This can be great for networking and tough on knowing whose opinion is consistently right or trustworthy. As for word of mouth, you know how much faith to put in the person you are talking to.

2. Objective

There are plenty of people out there who are going to give you an honest and helpful question when you put a question on twitter, a video on youtube, or write a blog post. But because marketers are savvy on the web, there will also be someone tracking the words you used and send you a link on twitter, post a link as a youtube comment, or post that same link in the comment section of the blog. Their objective is probably to sell you something. In word of mouth, unless someone approaches you and starts talking about their product, you will only get opinions from the people you want opinions from- and their objective is to help you.

3. Face time

No matter how wonderful social media and social media marketing is, there is something infinitely more engaging and grounding about getting a recommendation from someone standing in front of you or someone you know. While strong social media relationships have a trust all their own, most people tend to trust faces they see rather than just words.

Word of Mouth Marketing and Social Media Marketing


Word of Mouth Marketing and Social Media Marketing


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