Trust level shows power of social media

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News
Social media beat every other marketing channel if you know how to use them, says auto sales consultant Kathi Kruse of Newport Beach, Calif.

The advantage? Call it the trust factor.

Kruse points to a recent study gauging how much people trust messages they receive through various channels. Thirty-four percent of the respondents said they “trust completely” recommendations from people they know -- and that demonstrates the power of the social media, she says.

Only three other media rated “trust completely” in the double digits. Brand Web sites and consumer opinions posted online were tied at 13 percent, and editorial content such as newspaper articles were completely trusted by 10 percent of those surveyed.

I don’t doubt the power of social media. If your customers are tickled with your great customer service, they’re likely to share it with family and friends online.

Of course, if you slip up even a little, they’ll be just as quick to use social media to deliver a kick in the teeth.