Now, here’s an interesting twist on social media.
The entire industry of social media and why the corporates got into it in the first place was that friends would follow recommendations from friends. The report by Edelman, showed that 45% of people in 2008 trusted their friends and only 25% in 2009, in the article In Age of Friending, Consumers Trust Their Friends Less with the following graph below from their article.
Figure provided by Advertising Age – http://adage.com/article?article_id=141972
The real story still lies ahead and it turns out that the people we trust, we will follow and we will accept their recommendations.
What does that mean to us? The real secret to social media is to develop rapport. Do this by building communications that people will appreciate and follow consistently. Create a community and make your communications real and make it count. When people start to trust you, they will listen to you. In the short run, it will take a little longer but in the long run, it’s what real business has been built upon.
The real story is what we already know. Online friends don’t automatically warrant the same trust as real friends. So, the follower stats or friends stats in various social media sites can be misleading as to a measure of success. It’s an indicator of potential success but real trust is built over time. Take your social media community seriously. Build a good reputation within your community.
Be real. Be honest.
Oh yes, and people want to hear about 5 recommendations before they want to trust someone. So, if you’re using LinkedIn as one of your social sites, forget the minimum 3 recommendation requirement for a full profile. It looks like you want to consider a 5 recommendation starting point.