38 surprising facts about trust in social media

Posted on September 29, 2013 by Rob Petersen



Trust in social media

While  trust in our government and CEO’s is declining, our trust in social media continue to increase and rapidly according to the Edelman Trust Barometer.

“Technique and technology are important, but adding trust is the issue of the decade” – Tom Peters

If trust continues to be added to social media, why?

Here are 38 surprising facts about trust in social media.

  1. 92% of consumers say they trust earned media, such as social media, word of mouth, recommendation from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising (source: Webbed Feet)
  2. 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations (source: Socialnomics)
  3. 85% of customers expect businesses to active in social media (source: Vocus)
  4. 83% of consumers say it would be important to read user-generated content before making a decision about banking or other financial services (source: Bazaar Voice)
  5. 82% of consumers trust a company more if they are involved with social media (source: Forbes)
  6.  77% of online shoppers use reviews to make purchase decision (source: Vocus)
  7.  77% of people like getting exclusive offers that they can redeem via Facebook. We assign more value to products that are less available.
  8. 77% of consumers said they are more likely to buy from a company if the CEO uses social media (source: Forbes)
  9. 77% of B2C companies and 43 percent of B2B companies acquired customers from Facebook. (source: Business2Community)
  10. 76% of social media users post vacation photos to their social networks (source: Webbed Feet)
  11. +75% increase occurred last year for trust in social media as it went from 8% to 14% as a trusted information source (source: Edelman Trust Barometer)
  12. 70% of global consumers say online consumer reviews are the second most trusted from of advertising (source: Webbed Feet)
  13. 69% of parents are “friends” with their children on social media (source: Socialnomics)
  14. 63% of people need to hear something three to five times before they believe it (souce: Edelman Trust Barometer)
  15. 57% of us respond that we “cannot trust” most people; 38% of us respond that we can trust most people (source: General Social Survey)
  16. 56 percent of customer tweets to companies are being ignored (source: Media Bistro)
  17.  56% of internet users do at least one of the creating or curating activities we studied and 32% of internet users do both creating and curating activities (source: Pew Internet)
  18. 55% of travelers “Liked”‘ Facebook pages specific to their destination (source: Webbed Feet)
  19. 55% more web visitors and 67% more leads come to companies that blog (source: Vocus)
  20. 53% of people on Twitter mention products and/or services in their tweets (source: Socialnomics
  21. 52% of Facebook users say their friends photos inspire their travel plans (source: Webbed Feet)
  22. 48% who use social media to research travel plans  stuck with their original plan (source: Webbed Feet)
  23. 46% of adult internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created. We call them creators (source: Pew Internet)
  24. 40% of personal travelers and 46% business travelers use social networking to share travel experience (source: Bazaar Voice)
  25. 38% trust government officials; down from 52% in 2011 (source: Edelman Trust Barometer)
  26. 43% trust CEO’s; down from 50% in 2011 (source: Edelman Trust Barometer)
  27. 41% of adult internet users take photos or videos that they have found online and repost them on sites designed for sharing images with many people. We call them curators.
  28. 40% of Facebook users in our sample made a friend request, but 63% received at least one request (source: Pew Internet)
  29. 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands (source: Socialnomics)
  30. 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter (source: Huffington Post)
  31. 33% who use social media to research travel plans changed their hotel (source: Webbed Feet)
  32.  26 percent of retweets are incited by a request to retweet (source: Huffington Post)
  33. 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content (source: Socialnomics)
  34. 23 percent of Facebook’s users check their account 5 or more times daily. (source: Huffington Post)
  35. 14X is how often people on Facebook press the like button next to friends’ content, but they had their content “liked” an average of 20X (source: Pew Internet)
  36. Only 14% trust advertisements (source: Socialnomics)
  37. 12% of users tagged a friend in a photo, but 35% were themselves tagged in a photo (source: Pew Internet)
  38. 6% higher average order value occurs for consumer packaged goods brand for visitors who read reviews than visitors who don’t read reviews.

Richard Edelman says consumers are looking to have participatory conversations so it is critical for brands to be involved. And to understand that trust occurs through the kinds of conversations you have, rather than what you put in the conversation. Listen for yourself.

Do these facts explain why social media is increasing in building trust? Do they give you ideas on how to have better conversations with your consumers? Are you planning on using social media to build trust for your brand?


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Outstanding blog.  Concrete proof that the ability to engage others via social media is vital for building trust.  For today's marketing, the idea of "brand trust" is essential for building relationships with customers, as this is the pinnacle of so many critical emotions needed for trustworthy branding - credibility, integrity, reliability, comfort, experiential values, etc.  And the decline of trust in government and CEO leaders reinforces the importance of building trust in other areas, including B2C and B2B marketing initiatives. Valuable reading for everyone - congrats. Jay


@JayGronlund Thanks Jay. Thought this might have resonance for you. Glad it struck a chord. Rob


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