The Edelman Trust Barometer version 2011 came out recently and buried in the presentation deck are 2 slides I want you to check out.
What this slide is implying is that consumers no longer trust their peers and that they would prefer to trust an authority figure like a CEO. Why is that? Call it the re-emersion of the authority figure. The authority figure exudes a sense of influence and trust and the people that are like you, can be influenced, and your trust in them is diminishing. Trust in leaders, their leadership, and their experience is growing. Does this surprise you?
Ironically we have said on many different occasions that consumers look to each other for product and company recommendations-they trust each other for their unfettered honesty. So what is happening? Why is it slipping or the pendulum swinging the other way?
Now let’s look at slide #2
Consumers trust search results when doing research on a company and not social media. Look where social media sits! Meanwhile search results are tied into real time social. So search may be the research conduit but the result still might a social media generated one. Either way, a brand or company can say all they want about how search doesn’t affect sales or performance-I would beg to differ especially after viewing this slide. It surprised me. Did it you?
The bottom line. Search and social will still be prime components of trust but at the end of the day, who you are is going to determine levels of trust. Below is the complete deck for your viewing pleasure. Guess we better start looking at influence and authority some more.