Offline word of mouth trumps online today

I recently had a short Twitter exchange with Ted Rubin because he wrote a blogpost called Want to Scale Social Messaging get your customers to help.
The thesis is great. But reality is your customers don’t care enough to help you. We all know the current platforms suck for scale. You can’t reach most of your customers via social only a small percent. Partially because people on average only like to engage with 2-5 brands regularly so good luck being in that group, and everyone has such busy feeds if we see 3% of the posts and tweets we are lucky. So good luck having your message seen. On top of that so few people retweet and share stuff and with each person averaging only 13 mins of Social Media use a day most of our time is spent elsewhere.
But it sure would be great if I could get my customers to share more for me. We are big fans of Chobani. I LIKE and RETWEET anything I see of theirs on Facebook or Twitter. Yet rarely see anything. They post and tweet a lot though. I just don’t see their stuff. 
So what do you do? I was at a dinner Tuesday night. about 20+ people. All owned smart phones. None were using them. I was talking marketing with the owner of American Flatbread a very popular casual but upscale restaurant in Waitsfield, VT near the Sugarbush and Mad River Glenn Ski Resorts. They don’t do that much on social but have nice followings in spite of that. They do some paid advertising. They are always packed. George said when he goes to tables asking where they heard about them this is what they always say: ‘I was on the Ski Lift and I asked the person on the lift with me where to eat that is good’. That is the number one response by far. They make a great flatbread pizza with local ingredients and their staff is very good.
Yes when people are pissed they will come to social to complain. And some will come to praise when they are happy. But Social lacks scale. It should be part of every marketing effort. And definitely take what it gives which is one on one engagement, customer service and brand building. But for scale? It would take an army of employees to talk with all your fans and followers every day.
I have said on this blog many many times. The biggest marketing impact will be focusing on a great product or service, great customer service, and the right price point. The rest will take care of itself. Offline. Via Word of Mouth.
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About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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9 Responses to Offline word of mouth trumps online today

  1. Thanks Massivebuoy: I will work hard not to disappoint. And I agree with Howie, aka Mr. Manwich aka Chief Alien…when we tweet and connect, it's because we believe in, support and acknowledge the works and words of people we (over-used term coming up here…get ready for it)…know, like and trust.I'm not a fan of being some brand's sandwich board. Now I see you're in Toronto (I live in Ontario too), but I must find out more:) Cheers! Kaarina

  2. No way…I'll be back, mwahahahaha

  3. Chief Alien says:

    Thank you so much for coming by. I know I cause trouble by not repeating the same mantras many folks make a lot of money doing. Thus the Alien 8)

  4. Chief Alien says:

    HAHAHA! Drats I am going to discuss this with my security team 8)

  5. Chief Alien says:

    You hit a key my friend. Thank you for coming btw. I say this about social: It is a revolution in interpersonal communication technologies.So for people to people gosh we connect and share stuff. But it is not often Brand stuff. When Kaarina or Bill retweet a blog post often it is written by a person of interest to me. Vs Tony the Tiger telling me how good frosted flakes is. For brands social is so much tougher a place.

  6. Massivebuoy says:

    Sure thing. As long as you keep it local. How do you define this type of word of mouth? I respect Bill and Kaarina and will link to what they tweet 'cause it's usually good. Huh….;-)

  7. I just wanted to see if I could get in, haha! Cheers! Kaarina

  8. Bill Dorman says:

    And that's the truth, 'cause Howie is smart like that….

  9. nice blog . thanks for sharing information .

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