Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Forrester Groundswell Team Reports Low Trust in Company Blogs

By Jarvis Cromwell for The Reputation Garage

Forrester has just released a report on people's trust in company blogs.  The upshot?  Very few place a high degree of trust in corporate blogs as an information source.  Check it out HERE.

The report, authored by Josh Bernoff, who co-authored the book Groundswell, highlights a survey conducted in Q2 2008 that asked consumers how much trust they had in various information sources.  As you can see from the chart below, high trust goes to folks we know. The lowest trust ranking is assigned to company blogs -- with only 16% saying they have a high degree of trust in them.

Forrester and the Groundswell team are bringing fresh insight from the front lines of the social media world to a very important issue.  We've noted here in the Garage that trust in big companies (not just their blogs) reached its lowest ebb in a century in 2002 and hasn’t recovered.  Dozens upon dozens of research reports and studies confirm this from every conceivable angle.  That’s a big problem for business because trust is transactional – meaning that when there is a lot of trust it accelerates a transaction; and when there distrust it acts a clotting agent.  This dynamic applies to any transactions that involve human interaction -- whether a blog post, a sale, a conversation, an employee review, etc

David Ogilvy’s oft-quoted line from long ago “the customer is not an idiot, the customer is your wife” holds true here.  Most people don’t believe that big companies are in it for them.  The Groundswell team's proscriptive advice to make corporate blogs places where companies truly listen, converse, and help their customers is dead on.   As is their advice that companies stop and think before joining the “groundswell.”  

These are practices worthy of any true trustmeister!

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