Word of Mouth Communication
Word of mouth is when people share information about products or services to others. This can have a positive or negative effect on businesses. With some of the biggest sales of the season happening this past week, many people have been looking at products and sifting through reviews. Those with the most reviews, whether good or bad, have the biggest impact. It’s crazy to know how much we trust complete strangers across the world to give us good information on products. However, it can be even more comforting when you hear someone you trust talking about a product.
I have had the opportunity to do an on-campus internship through BYU to help a company build their social media. One way to build awareness is to do giveaways. My group and I had two giveaways to do during the semester but decided to keep them until closer to the holiday season. We posted the first giveaway, left it up for 72 hours, and only ONE PERSON participated. It was a total flop. We came back as a group and discussed what we could do better. We realized we should extend the length of the giveaway, make sure to post about it every day, and make the entry easier for people to participate. I knew this time that I would not miss the opportunity to share it on my social media. I was determined to spread the word. I even told my TA about the giveaway during a group meeting for the class. This made all the difference. Within 24 hours we had over 300 comments of friends tagging each other on our post, which is a huge improvement.
There is power in word of mouth communication. We should never underestimate the impact that we can make by sharing our thoughts, opinions, interests and passions.
With Christmas right around the corner, I find my mind wandering to my family’s holiday traditions. They’re filled with decorating for Christmas, secret Santa with siblings, special breakfasts, and more. These family traditions are extremely important to me. My favorite tradition is making a warm Christmas treat and snuggling up on the couch with my mom to watch a Hallmark movie. We love to do this as often as we can during the holiday break.
One thing that I’ve noticed over the years of this tradition is during every commercial break the first advertisement to come up is for Hallmark itself. I realized this is an example of owned media. Owned media is when a company advertises its own products on their platforms. As Hallmark continues to advertise their movies, shows and products on their own channel, they are participating in owned media. This is a great advertising plan for Hallmark as it holds the audience’s attention and keeps them coming back to view more of their movies. I can remember multiple times that I was going to skip the commercials and my mom would shout to wait for the Hallmark ads to finish so she would know what upcoming movies to record. Hallmark knows the power of owned media.
As I’ve learned about social networks, I have thought a lot about how we are each connected to one another through various ways. Certain people play a vital role in linking others together; they are connectors. A connector, also known as a hub, is a person with numerous relationships that works to bring others together in a network.
A great example in my life of a connector is my roommate. She is an extremely charismatic person and loves to meet new people. One day she came up to me and told me about a photographer friend that she had who was looking for models for one of her photoshoots. My roommate said that it would be a wonderful opportunity to get professional photographs and continued to list more friends who had gotten their wedding photos done by her. I decided to give it a shot and messaged the photographer on Instagram about the model call. The next day she messaged me and said that she would love to have me model for her. Because of the connections that my roommate had I was able to have this wonderful opportunity to meet new people and build relationships that I wouldn’t have on my own.
Self-presentation is a theory that discusses that we are always putting our best foot forward and presenting our best selves to our audiences. This can be done in many instances online and in person. A person can scroll through Instagram, twitter, or Facebook and see different influencers showing people what they should look like, or what activities they should be invested in. This quickly creates an idea of what the “ideal person” should be. People mold so quickly into what they believe their audience wants them to be.
A great example in my life is this blog post. I’m writing this with Professor Richards and other communication board members in mind. As I write this, I want to make sure that I am being professional, interesting, and fitting into what they believe would be a “good” communications graduate. Do I have to be exactly like everyone else? No. Am I still trying to achieve presenting my best self? Absolutely! I believe that it is important to remember that self-presentation is not always a negative thing. It is easy to see things on social media that can cause thoughts of comparison and feelings of self-doubt. However, when self-presentation is done gracefully and truthfully, others can see it and use it to their benefit and individual growth.
Synchronous communication is when two users communicate together through social media at the same time. This type of communication creates a conversation for the users and instantaneous responses between them. An example of synchronous communication is Facetime, a video calling ability on an iPhone, similar to Skype or Facebook messenger’s video option. Once two or more people connect the immediate communication begins. Quick conversations and instant replies make Facetime a great synchronous communication tool. Many people can be seen using Facetime as they’re walking home from school, going grocery shopping, or catching up with their family in a different state. This creates an easy and instantaneous way to connect and show others what they are seeing when they are seeing it.