Being a great word-of-mouth marketer requires an understanding of the basics that motivate people to talk.

Before you start worrying about fancy tools or big campaigns, study the basic human emotions involved in word-of-mouth. All the conversations, buzz, viral sensations, recommendations and referrals boil down to these fundamentals:

  • The “You” reason. The “You” reason people talk is all about the goods — you’re doing or selling something and people want to talk about it. It’s about creating or doing something remarkable, and it’s where all word-of-mouth starts.
  • The “Me” reason. This one’s about that feeling of being smart, important or helpful we get when we offer a recommendation or pass something along.
  • The “Us” reason. As humans, we love the feeling of being connected to something bigger than ourselves. When we have a feeling of group recognition — that we’re a part of a cause or mission — we’re much more likely to tell our friends.

Related Posts

13 Responses to “Andy’s Answers: The 3 reasons people talk about you”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kathy Meyer, Jason Murphy, SocialWize, youredgeonline, RT17 and others. RT17 said: Andy’s Answers: The 3 reasons people talk about you – Being a great word-of-mouth marketer requires an understanding… http://ow.ly/19TS4o [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by SmartBrief on SocMed, Tina, Paul J Schmidt, Katie Bowline, Liveinsights and others. Liveinsights said: RT @thumbspeak: RT: What are 3 reasons people talk about you? — #WOM advice from @sernovitz http://ow.ly/37wkW #blogwell [...]

  3. @StoryFella says:

    I read something once (can't remember the reference) that said on average we have about 72,000 distinct thoughts everyday, and 68,000 are about ourselves. If that is true, we are mostly putting the 'You' and 'Us' into terms that most benefit ourselves. Something to think about.

  4. @drdavehale says:

    So logical, and so true. At times people do not want to think they are anything to write home about, but in the online environment, creating remarkable content over time will create a great following. Just take lesson from the lemming!

  5. David Perdew says:

    I think it's that community spirit that drives us to be a part of Twitter in the first place, at least at the beginning. Once we get more familiar with the tool, it becomes an opportunity to share interests and business goals, if you stick with it. Being a part of something exciting and always fresh is certainly a factor.

  6. @admelfo says:

    So, "word of mouth" has hyphens again? Gotta wonder if this has something to do with the great en dash vs. em dash debate.
    ;)

    Enjoying the book, Andy!

  7. @vourtsis says:

    i totally agree wiht all the above we ahrd working here all of us at http://www.primowear.gr and http://www.horos.com.gr

  8. Andy, thanks for the short but extremely helpful checklist. Marketing people are usually overwhelmed with details and this provides clarity on the 'big things' we need to keep in mind.

    Most often, we are given the challenge to help market products that are good but not remarkable. And points 2 and 3 at least helps open our minds to how to create a buzz about the product. And we can also go back to your first point too—why not show our customers the remarkable things they can do, with this seemingly ordinary product as well.
    My recent post Website Design Basics

  9. Norolanto says:

    Thanks for sharing.
    Very Instructive.
    Norolanto from Montpellier (France)

  10. martin S says:

    People only talk about you when "you" are a "social object" in their world. For some you are not an object and therefore are not talked about. Sometimes through your relationship with other social objects you will be talked about by new people. see http://gapingvoid.com/2007/10/24/more-thoughts-on

    Martin S

  11. [...] Learn the building blocks of buzz There are three reasons why people talk about brands, writes Andy Sernovitz. The first occurs when you do something so remarkable that people can’t help but talk about it; the second, when people feel smart or helpful by passing on information; and the third, when people feel part of a community. “When we have a feeling of group recognition — that we’re a part of a cause or mission — we’re much more likely to tell our friends,” Sernovitz writes.  SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media [...]

  12. [...] Andy’s Answers: The 3 reasons people talk about you. [...]