How to Keep the Conversation Going in a Digital World

It is an indisputable fact that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising. One of the most trusted sources of information about a product is a friend or family member’s good or bad review. The information we gather through word-of-mouth is typically more trusted than intrusive media promotions.

However, in today’s digital and social world, that word-of-mouth advertising isn’t necessarily spoken face to face.

Facebook has evolved in many ways, and is a perfect avenue for friends to share opinions, content and reviews of any product or service.

From sharing links on different articles to voting in question polls to “liking” different pages, a person is able to weigh in on the opinions of trusted friends in their network. There is often no shortage of information with all the different avenues available on Facebook for sharing content. If a friend shares an article in their status, it will show up prominently on the “status feed” of their friends, who can then go directly to check out the shared information.

Friends and Pages can generate questions where anybody can vote on an answer. Information gathered in this way gives a snapshot of what the most popular opinion is without having to sift through tons of verbiage. And of course, a company can create their own Facebook page for sharing up to date and relevant content with all of their fans as they deem fit. The conversation on fan pages is more in depth and specific to that company’s offering. However, it is best not to force a promotion too strongly through this social interface.

Twitter is not limited by the people we choose as friends and the pages we deem worthy of our “Like.” Anyone, anywhere can access the content shared through Twitter, as the conversation is global.

Blogging keeps the conversation going when someone has something with which they want to share in a more in-depth manner. A fully thought-out and deep analysis of a product or service is best brought to fruition through a blog. Twitter literally limits your conversation through its character limitations.

And unless someone is specifically looking for rich content on Facebook, it will not stay at the top of the status feed for long.

In addition to these platforms, Google’s new +1 feature that recently launched. With this feature, people will be able to see what their friends think about an item they are searching, right when it is relevant to them. If a friend “+1’s “ a webpage that shows up in my organic search, I will be able to see that this friend has recommended the page. What is unique about this new feature is that when doing in-depth research about a product or service by surfing the web, people are also now able to bring the social aspect into play. The information needed can be found and word-of-mouth recommendations can happen, all at the same time.

Not to be outdone, the search engine Bing has integrated social media as well. Whether or not a friend has “liked” something will play a part in the order of the pages that show up in an organic search. Search engine optimization is changed forever. This new social aspect of searching for information has integrated the conversation into a research that was previously a solo act.

Amazon has integrated Facebook into the online shopping platform in ways previously unknown. We are now able to see our friends’ reviews of different products as we are shopping online. Not only this, but we are updated on friends upcoming birthdays and their wish list items as well.

We have always been a social race, which is perhaps why word of mouth is such a powerful advertising tool. With social media in the digital world, it is increasingly routine to integrate the thoughts and opinions of people we know into our buying behavior. Now it is as easy as ever.