Man, I nearly fell on the floor when a study conducted by Google found that in the area of word of mouth, search has more credibility AND is more likely to lead to purchase over social media. Really? The search giant doing a study with that kind kind of result?! Who woulda thunk?!
All kidding aside, though, the study conducted by Google and the KellerFay Group has some interesting information for marketers to consider. The chart below represents this ‘edge’ that search has over social media in the word of mouth game.
You can get more information from the full report here.
One thing I actually do appreciate from Google these days is their continued adeptness in putting information into short form videos. This is a good overview of the findings and may make you a bit more interested in the details of the full report.
OK, so you’re not convinced to look at the full report. Here are the key findings.
- Word of Mouth conversations still predominantly take place face to face. 93% of WOM brand impressions occur offline.
- The Internet is both the leading spark of WOM conversations and the #1 resource utilized to take action after conversation. Search impacts more than 15% of all Word of Mouth conversations.
- Google is the #1 spark of Word of Mouth conversations and the #1 place people turn to after conversations for more information.
- Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations a day.
- Word of Mouth impressions generated by search are 25% more credible and 17% more likely to lead to purchase than those generated by online social media sites
It comes as little to no surprise that Google did a study that attempts to show the impact of search. I think it’s a good reminder though in the social media whirlwind that we live in day in and day out. The reality is that just like most other things in life, there is no one thing that makes something happen.
People use a variety of methods to make decisions using a combination of tools and resources. Search is going to be an important part of this equation for as long as people need information. The perception of impartiality that search offers is valuable to people. I think we tend to fly overboard on just how much we trust the opinions of others so readily in the online review space.
I know that personally some of the things my best friends love are not of any interest to me no matter what they say about it. In fact, while I trust my friends opinions I don’t always agree with them so, by default, I give little to no credence to acquaintance level recommendations in the social media space. I actually do deeper research through search to gain my own perspective on things and feel better about reaching a decision that works best for me and is not just the result of parroting someone else. By hey, that’s just me.
So how do you view the role of search in the word of mouth game? Are these findings fair in your estimation? Let us know in the comments!