Google says that everyday in the U.S. there are 2.4 billion conversations involving a brand, and that Google directly informs 146 million brand conversations a day. Google has shared some findings from a study on word of mouth, from which these figures are taken.
"More than half of consumers involved in these conversations [the 2.4 billion] say they’re likely to make a purchase based on what they talk about," says Lisa Shieh of Google's Inside AdWords crew. "We wanted to know more about how media and the Internet play into all this conversation, so we took a look at what effect the Internet and search have on word of mouth. The study shows how media and marketing channels provided content before, during, and after consumer conversations by surveying 3,000 adults across 12 categories."
"It turns out that while most people still talk about brands face to face, their conversations are informed by the Internet more than any other media source," she adds. And when they’re online, users go to search sites more than any other. This is even more true afterconversations, especially those sparked by TV. People follow up by searching for more information and prices more than any other online activity, including social media.
Some other findings from the study:
The study, which gets into a lot of interesting graphs and charts, can be found in its entirety here (pdf). It shows that the Internet is the most important source of content in all phases of the conversation from before the conversation to during it, to after it's over.