Word of mouth in the social media age

Word of mouth in the social media age

By Jessie Hunt


What makes people talk about culture? How can we get people talking about the arts, both online and offline? This discussion of word-of-mouth uses a case study of a Grayson Perry exhibition at the British Museum to explore strategies around buzz marketing, viral marketing, and identifying key influencers and opinion leaders - plus what happens when word-of-mouth marketing goes wrong.

So what is it? The basic elements include:

  • Educating people about product/service
  • Identifying people most likely to share opinions
  • Providing tools that make it easy to share
  • Studying how, where and when opinions are being shared
  • Listening and responding to supporters, detractors and neutrals

Word of mouth is important because 67% of all consumer decisions are primarily influenced by word of mouth (McKinsey). We’ve certainly found this at the British Museum as it is the main source for the reason why people have decided to come to our exhibitions. It’s powerful because it’s unpaid and therefore credible.

Resource type: Guide/tools | Published: 2013