An article by the GALLUP Management Journal, Social Media: The Three Big Myths, reveals data about who we trust and who we listen to when we’re making decisions. While this particular poll is focused on ‘customer decisions’ (aka. buying something), I think that it communicates the relative influence that the people in our lives versus the people on the internet can have in our decision-making.
What this poll tells us is: Getting 100 tweets from strangers (about a movie, a book, a restaurant, a brand) simply won’t add up to a personal testimonial from a close friend or colleague. We rely on these individuals to give use cues about what we should buy and how we should act.
What does our preference to listening to trusted loved ones versus social media mean for social entrepreneurs and community-based initiatives? What role can social media networks play, if not introducing individuals to new brands (or products or actions)?
Is this why the use of social media networks seems absent from community-based social marketing literature?
*And do take a look at how we will rely on our children slightly more than our parents or friends in our customer decisions.