The recent article from Keller Fay 'Clout in the Real World' reveals how 90% of Word of Mouth Influence takes place offline. The picture above show a nice summary of this (click on the pictire for a larger version). The article explains how influence tools like Klout only measures influence online and do not take account of where most influence really takes place which is offline. The article also refers to academic research on how people communicate differently online and offline.
The conclusions in the article give some important lessons if you are keen to grow your business through business networking to generate Word of Mouth.
Influence is not driven by people with large numbers of Twitter followers or Facebook friends it is driven by the conversations that people have with their friends.
People also communicate differently online and offline. The research reveals that the drivers for online word of mouth are 1. Social, 2. Functional and 3. Emotional. The reverse is true in offline word of mouth where conversations are personal and intimate and the emotional drive is most important. People share emotions like excitement and satisfaction. In order to encourage conversations like that for you then you need to be engaging and sharing stories offline.
Online is important, but should not be at the expense of the offline interactions you need to have.
How much time do you spend online and offline and do you have the balance right?