Monday, 13 January 2014

What's in a recommendation?

Recommendations come at us on a daily basis, some we ask for, others we don't. In this post I am going to be looking at the effects a recommendation can have...

Recently I was asking around about places to buy towels and bedding (yawn I know...) - I went out and purchased these items from the shops based on the recommendations I got from friends and family. 

Word of mouth is, in my opinion, a brilliant marketing communication tool. Hands up who has purchased something, been on holiday, been to see a film etc based on a recommendation from family, friends, colleagues? I'll bet you all have your hands in the air! Likewise you can be discouraged from something via a recommendation too... both of these are out of marketers hands but it's still interesting to see how consumers are influenced by word of mouth! It is also fascinating to see how companies are able to create a hype based on a recommendation. Tesco Mobile on Twitter is a brilliant example of this (in my opinion!).

And then we add in social media to the mix (anyone else imagining a cake?!)

Social media is fab for recommendations. I can tweet asking for a good restaurant to go to and instantly the recommendations come flooding in, even sparking conversations with establishments themselves. BRILLIANT. Using hashtags such as Northantshour and MKHour also increase the responses, which you know are likely to be people who live in the surrounding area and will be talking from firsthand experience.

There are layers of recommendations... You can get those from someone you know, a friend etc where you are likely to know their tastes, likes etc and can form a decision of whether to go with their recommendation based on that. On the other hand, getting recommendations from social media requires you to base your decision on people you (potentially) have never actually met. How do you make the decision of whose recommendations to follow or not?

But it is not just products and places we can recommend... Oh hello LinkedIn! Why not recommend people?! I think this tool is great, write a little bit about someone and why you think they are wonderful, then let everyone else see! Fantastic for when you are looking for employment! I am not sure how much potential employers look at these but hey ho!

What are your thoughts on the LinkedIn recommendations? Do you use social media to look for recommendations?

Ciao x

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