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Posted by Nate Elliott on September 30, 2009
According to all the data I've collected in the past few years -- no matter what age group or country you study, and no matter how actively people use social media -- the huge majority of users influence each other face to face rather than through social online channels like blogs and social networks. And a huge body of research -- most recently including Razorfish's Fluent study -- has proven that recommendations from offline friends are more influential than recommendations from online friends. So I decided to have a closer look at how interactive marketers can create offline influence in my new report The Analog Groundswell: Using Social Media To Create And Amplify Offline Influence.
I found marketers using a range of strategies to create offline influence, but there are two in particular that are most promising:
Clients can learn more -- including lots more examples, and our best practices for offline influence programs -- by reading the full research report. And I'll also be speaking on this topic at both Forrester's 2009 Consumer Forum (in Chicago, October 27 and 28) and our 2009 EMEA Marketing Forum (in London, November 17 and 18). I just finished writing a case study on the NHL's tweet-ups as well.
In the meantime, I'd love to hear from you: what are you favorite examples of brands driving offline word of mouth? Have you ever run an offline influence program - and if so, what vendors did you use and how did it work? Let me know in the comments below.