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Online virality: isn't it the same as traditional word-of-mouth?
 
Whohub


No, it's word-of-mouth to a power of ten. 


Good question.

Yes, same psychology, and no, communication is now extraordinarily fast and connected.
 


Not at all. While there are similarities in the sense of sharing work samples, traditional word-of-mouth typically carries with it a personal endorsement from someone who has worked directly with you before. Recipients of viral campaigns who are looking to hire interactive vendors can be many times removed from the people who have actually worked with the vendor they are considering. At that point the viral campaign is just another portfolio sample in their InBox. Nothing more. 


Well, it ain't much since the CAN-SPAM laws about it changed. 


Nope 


No. WOM happens because a product created a person a specific response in a person, who feels compelled to share it.

Viral communication is not about the brand. It is about the entertainment value of the specific viral communication.

In short, WOM is about the brand. Virality is about the communication.
 


Different actually, but just as valuable. The difference is what you do for a living and being online is just another tool. A business that grows uses every applicable tool. Since I'm a Web designer, then yes, online virality is extremely important to ME. But, if I'm Bob's Tires of Plymouth, my best bet is word of mouth, but I want locals to find Bob's on the Internet as well. That's where my (Web designer) skills come in for the small business person. Bob sells tires, he may not know that folks look at Yahoo local or Google to find where to get new tires. It is my job to explain what those things are and how they work, and fit the search engine listing into the project plan. 


Yes it is, thou word of mouth still gives you more power, because you have hand movements, facial expressions which you dont have online. 


No. Word of mouth advertising is a "buzz" spread person to person via word- of -mouth. Online virality is usually send via email/msn/blog/site/rss..... with a link and is strictly media that is usually spread peer to peer or group to peer via the internet. 


Not precisely the same but close. It's more like free samples being given out. The main problem is that not all the free samples being given out virally are given with the permission of the copyright owner. 


Well, close, but the one way in which traditional marketing and online marketing are most similar is the old adage: "Location, location, location." Online, the location to secure is the highest ranking on the major search engines. 


Except your online presence is purely visual. This can be good and bad. Traditional word of mouth included things like verbal recommendations which do not always translate effectively into a visual medium. 


Online virality is NOT the same as traditional word-of-mouth. It's easily manipulated by those sophisticated enough to know how it works. This shall remain true for a very long time. There is an inherent quandary in online viral media: as soon as popular viral techniques become more resistant to manipulation, the manipulators move on to other techniques, and as a result of their "power use", these new techniques start to dominate the more resistant ones. And the cycle repeats. 


Tricky question. While they work the same way - in a horizontal movement from customer-to-customer, viral marketing is much more effective because it is a more far-reaching communication tool. The method is the same, the vehicle to reaching the goal is different. 


Simple answer: “No.” Online virality spreads like wild fire. Word of Mouth is usually a recommendation from a trusted individual. 



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