Social Media is the New Word of Mouth

While at the annual LMANE conference this month, I listened to speakers on a variety of topics related to technology. Kevin O’Keefe provided an outstanding session on social media and blogging for lawyers.  As a known leader in the field, Kevin is very capable of distilling a broad topic into some very tangible components.  I walked away with many great tips, but one of the most compelling concepts he shared is so simple, yet lost in the chatter surrounding social media and marketing. Here it is:

“Social Media is synonymous with networking… it is simply word of mouth”

Suddenly, it all became crystal clear.  Simply… social media provides accelerated word of mouth.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, only 14% of people trust an advertisement, yet 90% of people trust a peer recommendation.  When used to develop relationships, social media is a broadcast way to gather peer recommendations quickly and repeatedly.  Just like the classic commercial for shampoo  “she told two friends, and she told two friends…”, word of mouth (i.e. social media) can be damaging if you aren’t already providing top-level service and building relationships based on trust.

In a nutshell, social media is changing the way we do business across the globe.  If you don’t already have a social media plan in place, it is time to consider how you will enhance your reputation and reach by using a social media strategy.