Marketing by Word of Mouth? – Finding the Right People to Spread the Word is Crucial

21 Jun

Online word-of-mouthWhat’s the main reason we as marketers use social media platforms?  To get people to talk about our brands right?  We want them to talk about our brands because word-of-mouth is such a powerful source of influence on purchase decisions.  In fact, word-of-mouth is the number 1 source of information that influences purchase decisions; more so than websites and customer reviews according to a report from Experian.

With word-of-mouth being such an important marketing tool, it’s important to know who will be the most likely to provide the most influential word-of-mouth through social channels.  According to Josh Bernoff, vice president of Forrester Research, people use social media differently, and therefore some will be more likely to spread the word about your brand than others.  The labeling of different classes of social media users Bernoff calls “Social Technographics” which relates to ones demographics and psychographics.

There are 6 different technographic classes; going from those who are the most active users of social media at the top of the list to those who are the least active on the bottom:

  • Creators – They publish their own blogs and web pages; upload their own video and audio content; write their own articles etc.
  • Critics – They post product reviews and ratings; comment on others blogs; contribute on forum’s etc.
  • Collectors – They vote, “share,” “retweet,” “like” or “favorite;” they use RSS feeds; they tag web pages etc.
  • Joiners – They have joined social networks and social media sites and maintain their profile and visit them often.
  • Spectators – They read, watch and listen, but don’t contribute to the conversation.
  • Inactives – They have social profiles but don’t do any of the above.

Targeting the “creators,” critics” and “collectors” is usually your best bet for spreading word-of-mouth about your brand.  But how do you know who they are?  Forrester Research was kind enough to make the tool below to help you find out.  First click the image to go to the tools web page, then simply select the age range, country and gender of your target audience and the tool will show you what percentage of them are “creators,” critics,” “collectors” etc.  You’ll be able to see which technographic profiles should be targeted in order to use them to reach that specific age group and gender.

Forrester's Social Technographics Tool

This tool gives you a high level view of who your influentials are based on their technographic profile.  Now all you have to do is figure out which social media platforms to engage them through to get them talking.  This is a different topic in and of its self though.  (I’ll give you a clue; a good place to start is

Word of mouth is powerful if you can find those who are willing to talk.  This tool is a great place to start looking.


Posted by on June 21, 2012 in New Media


Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “Marketing by Word of Mouth? – Finding the Right People to Spread the Word is Crucial

  1. Lillian

    July 17, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    You should take part in a contest for among the finest blogs on the web. I will suggest this website!

    • Dain

      July 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM

      Thanks for the kind words Lillian!


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