Study: Word of mouth most effective for politics
September 21, 2012
When it comes to elections the medium that gets the great bulk of dollars is TV, and that sort of makes sense, television reaching the vast audiences that it does.
But for all those dollars, TV is not the most effective medium when it comes to shaping opinion about the candidates.
Word of mouth—what people are saying about the candidate and the race—wins hands down.
Of course, these days word of mouth is a lot more than people talking over the back fence and in line at the supermarket. That's the old definition.
Word of mouth now includes all forms of media in which people exchange views, from blogs to message boards to Twitter, Facebook and the other social media sites.
Under that broader definition, word of mouth is nearly twice as effective as TV in swaying opinions about the candidates and the race.
That's according to a study by BIGinsights, the Ohio media research outfit, that compares media by share of influence.
The study found that WOM share of influence is 32.4 percent compared to 18.1 percent for TV. Direct marketing was next at 16.4 percent, while radio came in at 8.3 percent, ahead of newspapers at 8 percent and magazines at 7 percent.
The study also found that certain voters are more likely than others to use social media to give and seek advice about the elections.
Give Advice by Posting to Friends on Facebook
Young (18-29): 30.7%
Walmart Moms: 28.2%
Seek Advice by Asking Facebook Friends
Young (18-29): 34.5%
Walmart Moms: 28.6%
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