Social media not a sure thing... but what is?

Brian Fuller reveals some really interesting research on social media and how it may NOT be all that and a bag of chips.  Essentially, new studies are showing that social media may not be as influential as everyone claims.

The studies show that only 3 of 10 people on social media sites trust their piers.  On the other hand, only one in 10 trust advertisements.  Even though it's less than 50 percent it's still a 3-1 advantage over advertising.

But this busts another myth about media and the engineering crowd.  We've seen several comments over the past year from engineers and high-tech marketing types that say they don't need traditional media because engineers talk to each other at trade shows, blogs, bulletin boards, etc.  But the studies show that out of all that personal interaction, you still only get less than one-third positive response. Seems to me that this makes sense.

Think about it. Out of all the people you know, hang out with, work with, etc., do you really trust the opinion of more than a third of them. I think that's generous if you do. Maybe even naive. There are a lot of people you like, but if you really know them well, you know their a french fry short of a Happy Meal.

Traditional journalism has an edge over both advertising and social media because people are inately trained to trust what the media says... even when they say they don't. Why? Because what you are reading, listening to and watching actively (as opposed to the interruption of advertising) is being mentally consumed by ... people you trust. And when they repeat the same information, it creates the perception of reality.

The nice thing about social media is, if the bloggers and podcasters follow the ethics and rules of traditional journalism, they can create that same circle of trust.

Nothing is a sure thing in communication. The human factor always skews the result. The best way to come close to ensuring success is to maintain a free and open flow of communication building trust and relationship, which is what social media is really all about.