The Financial Post reports that the study, released on Tuesday, revealed that 43 percent of those surveyed were more likely to trust discussions with friends about products, compared to only 12 percent who trusted what they had read on social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. In terms of “recommendations”, 42 percent said they trust advice coming from individuals they know. Expert reviews delivered through more “traditional” means (such as newspapers and television) were ranked second and third at 32 and 31 percent, respectively.
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Yahoo! conducted the online survey to represent a broad cross-spectrum of the country, using age, sex, income, first language and region of the country as factors when selecting the 2000 respondents.
Other methods of communicating a brand’s message that outpaced social media include company websites, where 40 percent of consumers found a brand’s website to be the best source of information, while a Facebook page or blog garnered just 26 percent. Advertising also beat out social media by a 17 percent margin, and advertising on television or in print was deemed more informative than social media advertising by 15 percent.
The survey’s findings show that brands are far better off using more traditional means of communicating with the public. Despite social media’s popularity, it lags far behind television, print and trusted friends and family in terms of helping a brand build its profile in the marketplace.