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Social media: the new word of mouth?

Posted by: | February 2, 2016 | No Comment |


Information is constantly being passed from person to person. Whether it’s in a conversation, a text, a news article, a Facebook post, or even something as simple as a tweet, we are constantly sharing information with each other.



This is not a new concept. Back in 351 b.c., this notion of passing information and news was known as word of mouth. In this year, Greek orator Demosthenes discussed Athenians obsession with word of mouth in the First Philippic, stating“Thus we all go about framing our several tales.”

While it was easy to use word of mouth back then, as populations grew, spoken word of mouth slowly became impractical for spreading accurate news. In 1700, London’s population was 670,000, which made it impossible for spoken news to spread efficiently. Imagine having to individually tell every single one of your Facebook friends about a news event. Sounds difficult, right?

But now due to the wonders of technology and social media, we have a new and more efficient version of word of mouth. News can spread incredibly fast now that we have social media.

We can now get updated details about a news event almost as soon as it happens and feel as though we were actually there. Now people can easily let their social media friends and followers know what is going on in the world, their lives, or the lives of others, and we feel as though they have whispered it right in our ears.

In fact, word of mouth, especially through social media, is being used as a successful marketing tool for many businesses. According to this Forbes article, word of mouth is the most important social media. 

Think about it, where do you go when you want a review of a product? Or how do you find out about a new business or product? The internet, and more specifically, social media. Word of mouth has now expanded from talking with your neighbor to having numerous conversations with people online to gain information. You can read reviews, have an online chat with someone, search what people are tweeting about a certain business or event, the list goes on and on.

Word of mouth has continued to transform since its first mention in 351 b.c. And with the continuous growth of social media and how we consume information, word of mouth is bound to transform even more in the future. 


under: Comm 455
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