Hold on, I still need to get a personal recommendation
A recommendation from a friend or a family member may just be the push you needed to go for that new smartphone in the market.
This is despite the fact that you probably read about the features of the new phone online, or saw the new ad for the product on TV. New research from a survey about how trust is built in products and services has highlighted that people still rely overwhelmingly on personal recommendations in the social media and advertising age.
Some 84 per cent of those polled said they trusted face-to-face recommendations of products and services from their friends and family. When asked the same question about online, social media-based recommendations from friends and family, that number dropped to 55 per cent. Only 39 per cent of respondents trusted online recommendations from social media influencers or people with large followings.
Commissioned by the Middle East Public Relations Association (Mepra) and conducted by YouGov, the survey also covered trust in media and advertising. Trust in print publications was the highest at 48 per cent, followed by radio and television both of which scored a 44 per cent trust rating. Blogs were the least trusted source of information at 39 per cent.
Ray Eglington, chairman of Mepra, said: "Over the past decade, paid advocacy such as advertising and the use of social media influencers has grown exponentially. But what is clear from this survey is that earning the voluntary endorsement of millions of ordinary people remains the key to brand success."
In addition, it was found that social media has become the most important source of information for people. Around 57 per cent of respondents said social media has become a key source of information about goods and services today, compared to five years ago. However, half of the respondents also said they have little trust in what they see on social media.
Newspapers were the second-most important source of information for half of the respondents, followed by television at 45 per cent and radio at 41 per cent. At 59 per cent, over half of the respondents agreed with the statement that so-called 'fake news' has lowered their trust in mainstream news media.
For advertising, the most trusted formats were television and billboards, both at 45 per cent, followed by radio at 41 per cent, and online at 37 per cent. Over 57 per cent said they trust advertising less today than they did five years ago. Brand websites scored higher than both media and advertising for trustworthiness; 53 per cent of respondents said they trust corporate websites. Conversely, 63 per cent have more trust in what a third party says about a good or a service than what a brand says about its own goods and services.
When it comes to social media, Facebook is by far the most useful source of information for goods and services, with 52 per cent of respondents using the site to know more about brands. Whatsapp was second at 17 per cent and LinkedIn was third with 10 per cent.