In a recent article by Jerry Langdon on July 30, 2009, called ‘Word of tweet: How it can make or break the box office’, the power of social media to spread word of mouth on a movie review is highlighted. With social media like Twitter, consumers can spread their opinion about the movie to thousands of people, even while the movie is underway. To quote the article: “Enter the “Twitter Effect.” According to experts, people are tweeting their opinions of movies not only the moment they leave the theatre, but sometimes while watching”.
According to the article, in the case of ‘Brüno’, the first day box office revenue was $14.4M, but the next day it dropped to $8.8Million, the biggest one day drop in Box Office history. The opposite is also true. Positive comments on Disney’s movie ‘Up’ are increasing traffic to that movie.
Customer Satisfaction experts have always used the upside effect on sales from positive word of mouth and harmful impacts on sales as a result of negative word of mouth as a reason to focus on keeping customers satisfied. But with the new web tools (blogs and complaint sites) and social media tools such as Twitter, the effect of word of mouth is now widespread and almost instantaneous. While Hollywood Movie Studios are starting to embrace social media to hype their latest creation, the real power of the customer to express their satisfaction using web technologies is undermining much of the advertising and social media buzz. If the customers do not like the movie, and spread the word, the term ‘people’s choice will triumph and at lightning speed.
Management of all organizations need to evaluate how the new web technologies of blogs, complaint sites and social media can be used to distribute customer satisfaction opinions and how negative word of mouth will impact them.
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