Shhh…Are You Friends with a Gossiper? Don’t Tell Them This…But…They are Your Best Source for Word of Mouth Marketing.

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rumor_mill_1600_clr_9751Do you have people within your social media platforms who like to gossip?  Sure.  We all do.  Did you know that those gossipers may be just the people you want to develop the strongest relationships with in order to give your business buzz?

What is a gossiper?  It has been defined as “an instrumental transaction in which A and B trade small talk about C for something in return²’’(p. 158)

The point is they are talking for a reason, whether it is power, control, prestige, fame, leverage, or just simply trying to find a way to boost their safe esteem.  The fact is gossipers like to talk.  This enjoyment of talking can, like most thing be used for good or evil.  If you as a business owner do the create the right time of relationship with a gossiper, that gossiper can be your most effective agent for “electronic word of mouth{ (eWOM) for your business.

Recent research from the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking investigated the question “Do Online Gossipers Promote Brands?¹” What they found gave us insights into the psychology of the gossiper.

Here are some of their conclusions regarding the psychology of Gossipers:

♦ When compared to non-gossipers when it comes to perception of value, gossipers have a stronger perception of value for information, entertainment, and friendship

♦ Gossipers respond to group pressure at higher levels than non-gossipers

business_figure_with_clients_1600_clr_10680♦ Gossipers value close relationships are are more willing to engage in “word of mouth” on social networks.

♦ Gossipers have a high interest in prestige and fame.  If they can be recognizes as the expert they like to flash their knowledge

♦ The best gossipers belong to large social networks it gives them the opportunity to be recognized by more people

How Do Make a Gossiper Work for Your Business?

  • Identify the gossipers on your social networks
  • Develop authentic relationships with them with in your social networks.  The stronger the relationship the more likely they will evangelize information through word of mouth even if it is low value.
  • talking_with_your_followers_1600_clr_9116Pass along information that is of high interest to most people (The higher the involvement of the product or service the more gossipers will get involved)
  • Pass along high interest information relative to your business that can put them in a position where they can be seen as an expert or that gives them the perception it can help build their fame
  • Pay attention to how the information is being shared by your gossipers.  If the information is not being commented on or shared or is not commented or shared very little it is the first sign to you that the information you are producing has little to no value.

As irritating as a gossipers posts may be to you, you need to understand the gossiper can be your best business friend on social networks.  They are the most likely to spread your information to others in their networks.  The temptation will be to disconnect, unfollow, unfriend, or hide or mute their posts, but you need them, because when it comes to word of mouth…they have the best mouth to spread the word for your business.

Stay Successful My Friends,

Jay Izso, the Internet Doctor®

Citations:

¹Okazaki, S., Rubio, N., & Campo, S. (2013). Do Online Gossipers Promote Brands?. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking16(2), 100-107.

²Rosnow RL. Gossip and marketplace psychology. Journal of
Communication 1977; 27:158–163.

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