About a year ago, I saw Passion Pit at the House of Blues in Boston. I had never heard of them prior to the show, but after the concert, I was hooked. They’ve quickly moved to the top of my iPod playlist and I’ve been talking them up with friends who’ve never heard of them, encouraging them to add them to their music library as well.
This got me thinking about the idea of word of mouth and why we share what we share. As marketers, we’re always looking to get the word out. Sometimes it’s simply to generate awareness, and other times it’s more about encouraging a specific audience to interact with the product on a more meaningful level.
In fact, I believe there is a larger theme at play when talking about what we share and why we share it. We share content with people we know because of something I call “perceived value”. We believe that whatever we’re sharing – whether it be music, a funny video, a movie review, a photo, etc. – has some value to the intended audience. Otherwise we wouldn’t be sending it, and we certainly wouldn’t expect our audience to check it out. Value is relative and always subjective, so predicting it can be a challenging task. What one person sees as value, might be interpreted as trash to someone else. But value is everything when it comes to sharing content.
The important thing is that the content we share as marketers needs to be relevant to the audience on some meaningful level. The more relevant something is, the higher perceived value it is, and the more likely that person is going to take action on the recommendation. It’s one thing to send a funny video to a friend; another thing for that friend to watch the video; and yet another thing for that person to share that video with his / her friends. The higher the “perceived value”, the more likely people will take action on what’s been shared. Or to go back to the music example, telling someone about a new artist is one thing; getting that person to see / purchase music from the artist is another; and having that person share it with new audiences is something else entirely. Each action is important and entirely dependent on the “perceived value” for the intended audience.
Just the other day, I was introduced to the idea of a meme. It’s a newly coined term in social media circles to describe an idea or belief that is transmitted from one person or group of people to another. It is said that the name comes from an analogy: as genes transmit biological information, memes can be said to transmit idea and belief information. “Meme” is quickly becoming part of the social media vernacular, so I’m sharing it with you all (if you aren’t already aware of it). And I’ll keep my fingers crossed you find it valuable and share with others you know.
Oh, and if you’re looking for new music, be sure to check out Passion Pit.