Consumer trust of the messages they see on TV, read in the newspapers, and even the product and service suggestions their friends make is down 50% in the past two years, according to a study described in an Advertising Age article, In Age of Friending, Consumers Trust Their Friends Less.
Yet we use testimonials, social media and word-of-mouth as viable marketing techniques, right? But Edelman’s 2010 “Trust Barometer” says that consumers just see the jumble of marketing messages scrolling across their Facebook News Feed and Twitter Stream as a bunch of noise, not to be trusted except if it comes from someone they really, truly know in real life. In our minds, we separate our social media “friends” from people we really know, like and trust so much, we now use the acronym IRL to mean “in real life” when talking about certain friends. (Perhaps we should use IFL to mean In Facebook Life? :))
Now more than ever, it’s important for you to get out in the real world and let your face be seen and your message heard from your own lips. You can’t rely on social media word-of-mouth to do passive marketing for you if your prospective clients don’t trust marketing messages coming to them in that manner.
And it’s equally important, if you are using social media marketing, to make sure that most of your messages are not marketing messages. Never forget the importance of “social” in social media marketing. We can’t get to know you, like you or trust you if all you do is throw marketing messages at us without ever sharing tips, techniques, ideas, rants, and news about who you are IRL.