I’m a huge believer in word of mouth advertising. The power of recommendation to close a sale makes the kind of intuitive sense that renders quantitative analysis expensively redundant.
Particularly when you read a story like the one printed in Section D of yesterday’s San Francisco Chronicle. It outlines how Facebook now directs more online users to content than Google does. What they refer to as “friend-casting” information makes Facebook a huge force in directing the flow of web traffic, particularly to major portals like MSN and Yahoo.
This simply proves that when we make small talk on social media, we like to share what we’ve recently seen, read or heard (“The “My Sharona” guy from the Knack just died! http://nyti.ms/cuVwxD”). And since we’re talking to friends who know our interests, we’re likely to click on those links (“Oh my gosh–I didn’t know his brother was Dr. Kervorkian’s lawyer!”).
This constant digital connectivity has created a modern world of easy, fast and omnipresent recommendation. With a few clicks, we can get an opinion about that movie we’re considering, a review of that book we heard of, a friend’s experience at that hot new restaurant.
Facebook, as an increasingly frequent touchpoint of our every day, provides a very convenient marketplace to trade those thoughts and opinions. All of which leads some pundits to predict that social media will become the internet’s next search engine. Maybe, but I think social platforms operate slightly differently, as a conversational dialogue.
Google informs you about what you find interesting.
But Facebook informs you about what your friends find intersting.
That’s social. And it drives an increasing amount of choices these days.