Peer Power Of Social Media Declines

By February 17, 20103 Comments

The recent exponential growth of social networks has led marketers to focus largely on this sector, as it is widely believed that users will trust the opinions of their friends easily. While this did actually happen, to begin with, a recent study by Edelman’s Trust Barometer, shows that things are now changing.

In 2008, 45% of users thought that the opinion of their friends was trustworthy. Now, only 25% of them think so.

Other sources that have lost credibility in varying degrees are TV (lost 23 points), radio and newspapers (lost 20 points) and company spokespersons (lost 6 points). The employees of various companies who engage in discussions with consumers about their products have also lost credibility (lost 3 points).

Quite surprisingly, the CEOs of various companies, who are now coming forward to speak about their companies and products, are now gaining the trust of users (up from 17% to 26%).

Other sources showing an increase in consumer trust are government officials, analysts, NGO representatives and academic authorities.

Part of the reason for users losing faith in word-of-mouth advertising could be the greater awareness about spokespersons receiving compensation from the companies.

Richard Edelman, CEO and President of Edelman thinks this a sign of the changing times. People now need endorsements from several different sources before they start believing in a product.

Marketers who have started devoting a lot of time and money, to these social networks may now have to rethink and change their strategy before it is too late.


  • Pam Alvord says:

    Another theory — How qualified are your friends and friends-of-friends to comment on the topic? In many cases it appears that social media posts are being made by people without first-hand experience. They are simply responding to the previous comment.

  • It is pretty obvious that the conventional media over time will go done as a form of source information. for the very simple reason. the advent web 2.0 and internet today and in the next folllowing years the platform is based on interactive source, you have newspapers online, you have news online and the rest of social media that is being broadcast online. frankly speaking for the moment i don’t know what will happen to conventional media as what i have heard google is trying to close a deal on tv broadcasting which will tell us that there is a possibility that we might be searching or browsing the net using our TV in the nezt years to come.

  • Asdfasdflol77 says:

    Focusing on the social sites would make it easier.