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BizReport : : October 27, 2010

Does the size of a brand's social media following instil trust?

If one brand has more fans, followers or participants on a social media site than another, do social media users consider it more important or trustworthy? Apparently not, according to the results of a recent study. It found openness of dialog far more important.

by Helen Leggatt

invoke logo.jpgOnly 12% of frequent social media users in the U.S. consider the size of a brand's following as "extremely important", according to research by Invoke Solutions. Another quarter think size is "somewhat important" but the majority (62%) place little importance on it.

So, much as it gladdens the hearts of most marketers to behold a sea of fans on their social media channels, what really matters, and what really instils trust and loyalty, is the quality of communication and one other, very important, aspect - openness of dialog.

In fact, Invoke's study found a brand's openness via social media to be "extremely important" to 37% of users, more so than the quality of comments and content (35%), responsiveness (30%) or volume of content (16%).

Rather than negative comments being ignored or, worse still, deleted, fans and followers want to see other user's comments - warts and all. They want to see how a brand reacts because this, in turn, will quickly illustrate if that brand genuinely wants to know about, and quickly deal with, any problems. This, in turn, gives users an insight into the extent to which they are valued.

Tags: communication, social media, trust

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