Of the 66 million French people, 30 million have a profile on at least one social network. When we extend this to the eurozone, the figures speak for themselves: almost 1 in 2 Europeans use social media. Faced with this mass of data within the reach of companies, it is essential for them to pay more attention to it. Thus, the presence of a firm on these networks must be controlled and managed …

The mouth-at-hear at l‘ère web 2.0

Word of mouth, that is, spreading information from one individual to another, remains a classic marketing tool that is often used in communication campaigns. In the era of web 2.0, it is social networks, blogs or video platforms that amplify this phenomenon, by their speed and efficiency. First, understand that there are two forms of word of mouth. He can be natural, the information is then passed on unconsciously by a person in order to improve their personal image or obtain social benefits (gifts, etc.). Also, he can take the form fedcondede, that is, a third party, such as the Community Manager, encourages the sender of the message through various services.

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The mouth-at– ear and consumer

For the word-of-mouth process to be effective, the individual who disseminates the information must be satisfied. Indeed, it has been shown that a satisfied individual will tend to participate more actively in this process, compared to a faithful individual[1] – it should be noted that satisfied does not imply loyalty or vice versa. In addition, word of mouth will have greater reach when fertilized and unnatural. The individual, motivated by the company, will be more motivated and convincing with his peers.

This consideration is very important because it has been shown that during their purchase journey, an individual will be sensitive to comments, especially those existing on the web.[2]. With an increasingly connected world, information becomes accessible at all times. Consumers can therefore share their experiences on social networks and influence the purchases of others. The importance of controlling digital identity and brand e-reputation then appears to be crucial. Marketing experts, business leaders, need to manage this moment of truth by communicating with connected consumers and establishing a more friendly than commercial relationship. Fans must then be involved, especially since they are the ones who generate the most word of mouth [3].

Theimpact ofa mouthat– ear nedNEGATIVE

A TRND Paris study has shown that a negative experience is shared with an average of 8.25 people, while a positive opinion is only shared with 7.44. Indeed, reading messages with negative connotations deteriorates the confidence and attachment that an individual can carry to the brand[4]. The virulence of the written comments can significantly modify the relationship of consumers with the company. It will therefore be necessary to identify, control, channel the remarks that can be broadcast on the internet. Different solutions are available to leaders to deal with these harmful opinions: let the fans defend the brand, make the choice to respond or not to respond. Having a Community Manager is not anecdotal to carry out this substantive work. The fact of mobilizing a person to manage these moments of “bad buzz” in particular, is essential because of the permanent watch which must be carried out.

The communityed, know l‘edcost

Managing your community becomes inevitable and essential. Communication with her community begins with dialogue with her, responding to various comments. This work, “management responses”, is particularly effective on dissatisfied customers, but to a lesser extent on others[5]. This is an integral part of the profession of the Community Manager, whose role is all the more important, because when faced with a dissatisfied customer his response will make the latter more satisfied than the individual who was already satisfied.

It can be supported by a Social CRM, that is to say a CRM (tools allowing to optimize the quality of the customer relationship by analyzing the data of the latter) which would be implemented with data from social networks, in order to enrich its customer databases. However, this evolution of CRM seems quite difficult, costly, and opaque for many companies, which explains why many have taken the turn of social networks but have not yet set up a Social CRM.

However, communication with the community is not just about managing customer relationships, but also using it to generate content: product improvement, survey on various points,… Community Managers or the company in its entirety will have to promote this word, but also to frame it.

Ultimately word-of-mouth can be a tool that is both effective and harmful for businesses. Indeed, some internet users can value the company while others can criticize it, leading to a greater movement of disputes than of compliments. The Community Manager, and more generally the company itself, will then have to learn to manage new IT tools, such as Social CRM, in order to better understand and respond to the opinions of the community.

The authors of this article

This article was written by M1 Marketing students from IAE Bordeaux, on the basis of a research dissertation from M2 students.


[1]The mouth at hear at l‘ère medsocial dias (Barreto, 2014)

[2] Moments of consumer truth in the digital space (Moran, Muzelec, Nolan, 2014)

[3] Who loves me … and why? (Wallace, Buil, De Chernatony, Hogan, 2014)

[4] Word of mouth negative from Internet users on the relationship with the brand (Sere De Lanauze, Siadou Martin, 2014)

[5] First Step in Social Media: measuring the influence of online management responses on customer satisfaction (Gu, Ye, 2014)

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