Pioneering social media research reveals it’s all about trust

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The pressure is on for Tasmanian companies to build their reputation both online and offline, with the 2013 Font Public Relations Social Media Index revealing only half of the community believe what businesses have to say on social media.

The research found that only 55 per cent of the Tasmanian community trusted what businesses had to say on social media, compared with 82 per cent trusting the activities, posts and recommendations made by family on social media, while friends and colleagues came in at 72 per cent.

As a business, if only half of your audience believe what you say, then it is it the endorsement, or lack of it, by family, friends and colleagues that will make or break the reputation of a business on social media in Tasmania.

The Font Social Media Index is now in its third year and reveals the growth of social media use in Tasmania continues unabated, with a 15 per cent increase in those using various platforms over the survey period.

With 67 per cent of the Tasmanian community stating they have used social media in one form or another over the last year, companies can no longer shy away from the influence of social media.

Given two thirds of the community use social media and only half of those people trust what companies say, Tasmanian businesses need to work hard to build their reputation on a wide range of platforms.

It’s important for companies to be responsive and show some personality on social media, but most importantly they must prepare a long term strategy to develop trust and ensure positive relationships are created and maintained on these channels if they are to succeed.

Just being present on social media is not enough, you must actually be authentic in what you say and do.

If the bushfires earlier this year demonstrated anything, it was that reputations can be made and lost on social media, so what people need to hold in mind is if they don’t have others online who will defend or support them, it may be impossible to protect their reputation.

For a copy of the 2013 Font Social Media Index click here.

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