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Influencing Trust Online: How We Make Social Recommendations

Trust in relationships is important. You need to be able to trust your significant other, your coworkers, your doctor — and your social media?

It sounds crazy, but it’s true. More than ever these days, we make purchasing decisions based on what people — often strangers! — say online. But we don’t trust just anyone, though. Who makes the recommendation matters, as does the platform they use to make it. And as a business, it’s in your best interest to understand these connections so you can best leverage them to drive strategy and action.

And that’s where this handy infographic comes in. Social Media Link collected online survey data from 24,367 members in October and November 2014 and the results became what they call the Social Recommendations Index. Now in its 2nd edition, the results track what changes have evolved in the social trust landscape since 2013.

Some interesting insights:

  • Facebook is overall the most trusted social media platform — but Pinterest and YouTube are quickly closing the gap with big gains of 8% in 2014.
  • Consumers tend to use different platforms at various stages of the purchase process: discovery, research, and advocacy.
  • More than half of those surveyed report relying on the retailer’s website during the research phase.
  • The squeaky wheel is known to get the grease, but surprisingly, most survey participants report “a positive experience with a brand” as their main motivation in writing a review.
  • Personal stories are the biggest review influencers.

Scroll down to check out the infographic for yourself.

Have you made a product or service recommendation online, or left a review? What was the experience like for you?


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