Good News Travels Fast

All women may not be optimists, but they do seem to prefer sharing positive news, according to a recent survey.  A Harbinger study of food and beverage online commentary found that 58% of female internet users are more likely to talk about good experiences.

A bad experience would motivate only 46% of respondents to speak up.

For brands with lingering worries about negative buzz spreading across social media, this data should quell such concerns.  However, the study also shows why marketers need to pay closer attention to the negative – for every unsatisfied user, additional users likely experienced similar issues but chose not to share.  Listening to consumers remains paramount.

The Harbinger study also reported that 92% of participants prefer spreading word-of-mouth information through friends and family in person, as opposed to sharing via online channels.   Human nature as it is, the new stat isn’t too shocking, but it can serve as a reminder that word-of-mouth doesn’t begin and end online.   The offline word-of-mouth program House Party (which finds participants online and works with brands to throw live events) often succeeds because it brings consumers together in real-life — achieving the difficult feat of measuring real-life word-of-mouth.

As our social media programs develop, we should keep in mind the power of in person contact.  After we build initial brand connections online, thinking of creative ways to bring the conversation offline to add a more personal touch could be a very valuable next step.

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