A few WOM (Word of Mouth) articles to think about ....
1. Fundraising: A college kid has raised $6,000 from 2,000 people to help pay his NYU tuition. He's hoping 10,000 friends and "friends of friends" will donate $2.50 each via PayPal or sending a check in the mail. Figuring out how to get our friends to sell our ideas or fundraising effort to their friends (word of mouth) should be a big component of future advocacy and philanthropic efforts.
2. Marketing: JetBlue has put 300 flights to 20 destinations, including 4 "mystery" vacation packages (find out where when auction ends), on eBay. The reason - "valuable word of mouth advertising". I completely love the idea of mystery trips so immediately went and checked it out (bidding already over $2K and $3K on those). Each item sells JetBlue in the process (describes the seats, legroom, coffee, multiple channels to watch, etc.) - along with the "fun" of travel. They expect to get 85% of flight value on the trips so it's low cost to do. Can associations use more sites to "get noticed" too?
3. Gaming and Social Media: There's thought that with so many gamers more associations are going to get into gaming. And with so many socializing on social media that surely that will deeply expand into the association space too. So I howled at this article entitled, "How to Get your Girlfriend into Gaming" - with advice like "don't be a jerk" and "don't make her play Halo". Is this potentially the problem with social media and association members too - do they try it and decide there are too many jerks and/or they really just don't want to play? Sometimes it doesn't take word of mouth to know what you like and don't like.