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Do you trust professional content you found on Facebook?


Social trustSuppose I emailed you an article about a radical way to drive traffic to your website. Would you be more likely to trust this article if it came from LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter?

According to “The Mindset Divide: Spotlight on Content” from LinkedIn and Millward Brown Digital, where you found the content could be just as important as who wrote it.

To be fair, LinkedIn did sponsor this study so obviously it leans in their favor but I still believe there’s a point to be made. Let’s take this off social media and look at it this way; I send you a link to an article. The link takes you to a webpage that is 90% ads and looks like it was built in 1981. Trust or don’t? Would you even bother to read it?

How about the same article on a nicely designed, well-maintained website that shows signs of being updated on a daily basis. Now, that article looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

Now think about your business content and how you share it.

The Mindset report says that nearly 60% of professionals access business content through social media almost daily. But if the pros don’t put their trust in Twitter or Facebook, what makes them read on? Pros say that who wrote or sponsored the article is very important. They’re more likely to trust the content if it was produced by someone they respect.

If they don’t know the author, popularity comes into play. The professionals in this study said they had a tendency to trust content that had been “liked” or shared by a large number of others. Sadly, one of the least important factors was whether or not an article was well-written! They also weren’t particularly concerned about sources for stats and quotes.

Twitter and LinkedIn users also wanted content that they could easily use in their daily life. Facebookers apparently don’t care if it’s useful as long as it’s popular. Sigh.

And it gets worse. Check this out:

Facebook content

After receiving professional content on Facebook, 68% of users click “like” before they’ve even read the content. Seriously? Follow that up with the earlier notion that people judge Facebook content by the number of likes and you can see the hole we’re digging.

What concerns me most about these stats is that they encourage the creation and sharing of easy content – meaning cute photos with a single line of text or videos you didn’t watch. (Even I got caught on that once. Shared a video that I only watched half way only to find out that it wasn’t at all what I thought it was.)

Don’t do it. Spend the time turning out 1 great piece of content instead of five useless, quick hits. People might like them on Facebook but is that really how you want to represent your brand?

Here’s the stat I want you to remember:

Almost 70% of professionals agree that they like to be the first to receive and share professional content that others might find useful.

If your company is the one that puts that content in their hands, you get the gold star because you made them look good and that could be the start of a beautiful business relationship.