©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Marketers must leverage trust, not just popularity
Trust and credibility are the gold standards by which relationships are measured. This is true of personal relationships as well as connections between people and brands.
The rise of social media has reinforced the importance of trust. Successful and enduring social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn are built on a foundation of trust and transparency. But social media has also distorted the notion of trust and put an emphasis on the size of a person’s network and connections.
“Most people’s decisions are shaped by word-of-mouth input, whether online or offline, from a tight circle of close friends and relatives,” said Paul Verna, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Word-of-Mouth Marketing: Leveraging Trust Online and Offline.” “Marketers seeking to maximize their reach should focus on the quality of social network connections rather than their sheer size.”