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Social media is the new word of mouth

Any business owner will tell you that the best way to steamroll your way through the competition is through improving word of mouth exposure. 
Potential customers tend to trust the advice given to them by their friends and family more than anything a company might say to convince them of the superior quality of their product. Most of the time, these tactics are seen as marketing tactics that are used to hype up the product and downplay anything bad on the part of the seller.
It is easier to convince someone to buy your product if they are already aware of it working or being good quality from experience, or from the experience of those they trust.
In the 21st century, what better place is there for any one person to communicate easily and effectively with as many people as possible than over the Internet – more specifically, on social media networks?
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ now host profiles on over half of all active Internet users worldwide, with Facebook’s users accounting for almost three quarters of all active Internet users.
What this means for your business is that at any time, someone giving your product or service a good review or mention on one of these sites could easily be giving that information to hundreds or even thousands of potential customers, depending on how influential that person is.
In addition to traditional social media, third party review sites such as Yelp, YouTube, HelloPeter and countless others allow customers to tell other what they think of your company or product. 
This information is easily accessible from anywhere in the world, and the receiver of the information does not even need to come into contact with the initial sender. Think of how many times potential customers do a Google search for products coupled with the word ‘review’ – all of these reviews, whether positive or negative are available. Research has also shown that over 65% of people take into account the online reviews from product before deciding on whether or not to purchase them.
Because of this incredible influence of social media and the increase in communication levels worldwide, it is important for any company, big or small, to foster constructive communication between themselves and their customers, as well as potential future buyers by making themselves available on these social networks and being willing to listen to any criticism and to actively work on improving based on any comments they might get.
This way, if you are on Facebook for instance, and you complain about a product by a well known company on their page, and they respond, willing to help, not only are you getting your money’s worth, but other people are able to see that the company in question is trying to perfect their products, and are most likely willing to fix anything that might be lacking.
Written by   Wesley Geyer
Creative writer at ATKA SA