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  • How honest a form of WOM is 'liking' something?
    Creative Commons, Denis Dervisevic (2010) ©

Will social media hijack women’s trust in word of mouth?

Mary Lou Quinlan assesses the deteriorating value of online word of mouth among women - and issues some valuable advice to social media brands.

Location Global

This title probably gives me away. I’m becoming a digital doubter. While I’m a believer in the power of technology to connect consumers and enable them to share their customer experiences, I want to challenge the deterioration of the value of online word of mouth among women.

I am worried that our online marketing strategies are killing WOM, the gold standard of trusted endorsement by making it too easy, too anonymous, too paid. I’m concerned that buyers will become either unwitting sandwich boards or simply shills for brands. And I’m wondering if consumers, especially the all ...