For marketers, the rise of social media has helped crystallize the importance of word-of-mouth. But lately, “social” has become synonymous with a platform, when in reality it’s a fundamental human behavior. In fact, 90% of consumer conversations happen offline, far away from what we currently think of when we say “social media.”
Every day, people talk to each other, providing guidance on which experiences to embrace and which to avoid. It’s no wonder that nearly 50% of consumers are likely to purchase products as a result of word-of-mouth*.
So, as a marketer, how do you influence those conversations? Sure, digital channels work for sparking conversations that your target consumers can continue online or take offline. But how can you guarantee that those individuals will share and endorse your brand?
The answer is by reaching the right social audience. After all, not all audiences are equal. If you’re putting your brand messages in front of individuals that don’t talk and share, that’s not going to help your word-of-mouth. You want to go beyond platforms to build real relationships with consumers who are social and likely to speak favorably about your brand.
To provide more audience insight for those of you thinking about social campaigns and word-of-mouth, Microsoft Advertising partnered with the Keller Fay Group, a leading social research firm. Keller Fay found the MSN audience to be a highly attractive audience for word-of-mouth, outperforming competitor audiences in many categories.
I’ve included some of the key reasons why MSN consumers are ideal for social advertising. For those of you interested in more insights and detail, please check out our social advertising pages and download our our recent word-of-mouth research paper, Influencing the Influencers! (PDF)
Natasha Hritzuk, Director of Ad Sales Research and Analytics
* Keller Fay Group, Custom Research “The Power of the MSN Audience to Drive Word of Mouth,” February 2011