Word of mouth research: Study shows word of mouth tops all benefits of online communities

Increasing word of mouth is the greatest value of online communities according to a survey by Beeline Labs, Deloitte and the Society for New Communications Research of more than 140 businesses and nonprofits using social media.

Respondents selected “improved word of mouth” as the primary benefit of social media, followed by increasing brand awareness, discovering new ideas faster and increasing customer loyalty.

Other findings:

  • 54% said the ability for community members to connect with other like-minded people was the most important factor for an effective community
  • 49% use “greater awareness” as a top business measurement, while 28% are measuring referrals
  • Only 9% of respondents cited management as an obstacle to engaging in social media
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