New research suggests that the pandemic has not stopped consumers from sharing opinions about brands and products. Such conversations have actually increased.
Compared to a year ago, consumer talk is up by double digits in social media. Yet despite social distancing rules, real-world offline word-of-mouth conversations are also up – 2% between April and July, compared to the same time last year. During this period, that amounts to 14 billion, weekly, word-of-mouth impressions about products, services and brands.
Consumer conversations are important because they have been shown to motivate 19% of consumer sales, with online and offline conversations playing equally important roles.
How and where those conversations are taking place has changed somewhat. For starters, a larger percentage now occur at home, with more people hunkered down and avoiding going out. Two-thirds of them are happening face-to-face with other household members, but many involve telephone, text, and/or email to people outside of the home, providing ways for people to share information about products and services with each other at social distance.
Face-to-Face conversations have dropped from 72.6% of all conversations to 66.6% of them between January and mid-July.
The main channel for these increased conversations is video calls, which rose from 1.3% of all consumer conversations the first week of April to 4.3% by mid-July. The people participating in video calls are extremely influential. More than a third (34%) of people participating in such calls are part of the influential segment of consumers we refer to as the everyday consumer influencers. This type more than triple their incidence in the general population.
Source: Keller, E. (2020, July 31). Word-Of-Mouth Remains Vital to Consumers During COVID-19. MediaDailyNews: Media Post.