When it comes to trust online, it’s no surprise that people prefer the blogs of their friends, but according to a recent report on eMarketer, they’re a little suspicious of their friends’ Facebook streams, and when it comes to Twitter, fugetaboutit!
The study, which was conducted by Invoke, says that only 12% of the people surveyed completely trusted a friend’s Twitter stream, while more than double that number said they completely trusted a friend’s blog post. The numbers get even more dismal when it comes to brand blogs and brands on Facebook.
15% of the respondents in the survey even went so far as to say they distrust brand blogs somewhat. The really surprising result is that only 8% of the people said they completely trusted comments by fellow members of the same community.
What it adds up to is that we’re a mighty suspicious lifeform and that’s kind of sad. When it came to blog and Facebook posts by friends, the most chosen choice was “Trust Somewhat.” Somewhat? I know the old adage of ‘don’t believe everything you read,’ but do that many people really believe that their friends are up to no good? I suppose it comes down to the definition of trust. Maybe it’s not so much that we’re being lied to as we don’t trust Suzy’s taste in movies, so her recommendations are not to be believed. Then there’s your friend who always says he saw a famous person at the bar last night. TwitPics or it didn’t happen, buddy.
So if people can’t even trust their friends, what chance does a marketer have when hawking the benefits of his latest product?
37% of those surveyed said they’d be more trusting if the arena was open to both positive and negative comments. They also said that the quality of the content and the responsiveness of the author went a long way to solidifying the validity of any claims.
The number of fans, followers or participants was the least important factor which proves that those auto-Twitter Follow programs aren’t doing you any favors.
Looks like the only way to get around folks these days is with quality content and customer service. Oh, and telling the truth on a regular basis doesn’t hurt either.