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Social Media: Fluke or Future of Marketing?

Monday, March 1, 2010

 The rise of social media has been part and parcel of the devolution of authoritative information and the flowering of a million cacophonous voices. It not only changed the way companies looked at consumers but how consumers looked at each other.Edelman's 2010 Trust Barometer (latest findings) fly in the face of formerly new conventional wisdom. According to the survey, since 2008 the number of people who view their friends and peers as credible sources of consumer and business information dropped by almost half, from 45 percent to 25 percent. Similarly, in the past year, the number of people who view peers as credible spokespersons also slipped. Even more strikingly, however, after a precipitous decline earlier in the decade, informed consumers have regained trust in traditional authorities and experts.

A few years ago, when peer-to-peer trust was at a peak, social media was still relatively new and its circles were manageable. But since then, the number of friend networks has exploded and every kind of business, for-profit and not, has sought to harness--we might say, exploit--them for their gain. That, according to Becker, has made people more skeptical of peer recommendations.

"Social media is more professionalized now and less organic," says Becker. "It's harder to know who to trust." 

And in troubled times, such uncertainty is magnified. All of this explains the rise in the number of people willing to pay attention to sources like proven academics and experts. After indulging the thoughts and opinions of anyone who was "just like me," it seems that people are now looking for a firmer guarantee of clarity, objectivity and accuracy.

In other news and speaking who to trust...the Pentagon just announced it is embracing web 2.0 in social media policy. U.S. military personnel are officially allowed to tweet. Yikes.

Via NewsFactor Network

Posted by Carlos Olin Montalvo at 8:21 PM  

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