Marketers must transcend the inherent distrust within social network platforms if their messages are going to resonate with consumers.
Social networkers are people who use online networks to stay in touch with the people that they trust and care about: friends and family. These social connections drive the social networking phenomenon, and marketers must recognize that learning about products and services is secondary to the pursuit of social outreach with friends and family.
Social networks have earned very little trust as communication platforms and are surrounded by deep skepticism and concerns about protection of privacy, scams and spam.
Marketers must transcend the inherent distrust within social network platforms if their messages are going to resonate with consumers. Without a meaningful connection to friends and family, marketing messages on social networking sites will merely become more ads to be avoided.
Discussions and recommendations by friends and family members are among the most trusted sources of information about brands within social networks. Gaining access to these organic discussions (and acquiring the associated trust) can be achieved by delivering remarkable and engaging brand experiences—both online and off-line—and by speaking to consumers’ values and ideals. Many consumers also respond to activities that deliver tangi- ble value, such as coupons or special offers.
The rise of social media offers marketers a new and powerful medium through which to engage consumers, but does not replace the reach and inherent trust found with more traditional media channels such as broad- cast TV and radio.