Great post by David Aaker, author of Brand Relevance: Making Competitors Irrelevant, 14 other books on marketing and more than 100 articles.
In “Secrets of Social Media Revealed 50 Years Ago” (http://bit.ly/l0nCDJ), David shows us how Ernest Dichter, the father of motivation research, conducted a study on the effects of word-of-mouth persuasion that revealed the secrets of how to use social media to build brands and businesses.
The results of the study were published in a 1966 edition of the Harvard Business Review and essentially affirm “everything old is new again.”
A major finding of the study that is relevant today is the identification of four motivations for a person to communicate about brands:
- Product-involvement (33% of the time). The experience is so novel and pleasurable it must be shared.
- Self-involvement (24%). Sharing knowledge or opinions is a way to gain attention, show knowledge and expertise, feel like a pioneer, have inside information, seek confirmation of a person’s own judgement or assert superiority.
- Other-involvement (20%). The person speaking wants to reach out and help express neighborliness, caring and friendship.
- Message-involvement (20%). The message is so humorous or informative it deserves to be shared.
In order to successfully employ social media, a brand needs to deliver extraordinary functional, self-expressive or social benefits so that consumers are motivated to share their experience with the brand.
This comes back to determining your brand’s strategic positioning — its long-term positive differentiation.
Recipients of referrals or word-of-mouth are concerned with two conditions: 1) the speaker being credible with experience and background that is convincing; and, 2) the speaker’s motivation.
They want the speaker to be interested in the listener and his or her well-being without a bias. As such, the speaker needs to have a balanced perspective.
In addition, the speaker should promote a dialogue with the listener as this will enhance the likelihood that the listener will accept the judgements from someone with whom they have an ongoing interaction.
With a dialogue, it’s much easier to communicate expertise, interest in the subject matter, interest in the listener and the right motivation because there is an opportunity to build a relationship and trust.
Recommenders can have a huge impact on purchase running as high as 80% for some products.
Are you having a dialogue with your customers and prospects via social media?