Real friends more believable than online friends.
Word-of-mouth recommendations can move consumers to make a purchase.
Word-of-blog, on the other hand, is far less persuasive.
According to Mintel, 34% of US Internet users who bought a product or service based on a recommendation got that tip from a friend or relative, while one-quarter bought based on advice from a spouse or domestic partner.
Lower on the list were bloggers and chat rooms.
While bloggers may bring buzz to a product, converting the buzz to sales is another matter—unless, of course, the blogger is a friend.
“It’s interesting to find that as much time as we spend online, we still prefer a personal recommendation from someone we know and trust,” said Chris Haack of Mintel.
The most common reason that Internet users recommended a product or service was price, followed by quality and convenience.
“The sheer number of people that purchase based on recommendations proves marketers need to pay attention to word-of-mouth,” said Mr. Haack.
Build a good product and consumers will spread the word—probably to people they actually know.
For more information, see Trust Word-of-Mouth.
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