90% of WOM Happens Off-line: Lesson for associations

For those with “building community” on their list of goals for 2010, check out SmartBlog on Social Media’s posting by Merritt Colaissi – Spike Jones’ 11 Lessons to ignite a fan community. It was lesson #9 that caught my eye:

Movements live online and offline. 90% of WOM happens offline. It’s important to get people together offline.

We are spending much time, energy and dollars on our IT and virtual communities that we fail to see the importance of being face-to-face. Some associations are even going so far as to replace traditional events and, yes even chapters, with online learning and virtual chapters. But it’s not a either-or proposition. As Jones learned in building Fiskars successful crafters movement, its the combination that wins.