Online Buzz Bubble-Popper: Positive reviews don’t necessarily mean more sales

Positive online buzz for cars and trucks doesn’t necessarily translate to volume sales, period.
Here’s the story in AdAge: “What Web Buzz Does for Car Sales: Not Much”
Turns out that BrandIntel has been monitoring 450,000 comments over the past year. Comments made by “enthusiasts” in consumer discussion forums on auto-information sites such as, newspaper and magazine sites, and blogs.
Let’s look at the print/paper analogy. This is the equivalent counting the number of press-clippings in the trade mags. As a measure of PR efficacy of getting stories published, it worked great. As an indicator of sales, it didn’t.
What matters in print and online is the credibility of the messenger and the size of the audience. A story in Rupert Murdoch’s WSJ or the NY Times may have a dramatic impact compared to the same story in your local rag.
Online, credibility and audience-size still matter, but so does findability. How easy is the story to find? Does it come up high in Google and to a lesser extent Yahoo? If there is buzz, is the buzz on a hub or a backwater site? Is it getting attention or play through links from other noteworthy sites?
How does one measure that? There is a way – ecosystem relevance – which measures the position and rank of a site within its industry/category ecosystem.

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