Forget ads, most people trust social media far more

mobileFurther proof it it were still needed of the rising influence of social media has come in the form of a new study which claims that only 6% of people under the age of 50 trust traditional advertising, while over three-quarters take their lead from user-generated content.
The report by Olapic, entitled Consumer Trust: Keeping It Real, details the results of the survey of more than 4,500 active social media users between ages 16 and 49 in the US and Europe (the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden).
It finds that photos featuring ‘real people’ are trusted seven times more than traditional advertising, while trust has a significant impact on click-through rates and sales. In fact, over half (56%) of respondents say they are more likely to click on an ad that features a user-generated photo and the same amount are more inclined to buy the product after seeing this kind of ad.
“These figures send a strong message to brands about how they should engage with consumers’, says José de Cabo, co-founder of Olapic. “Social media brings streams of authentic images to consumers’ fingertips, transforming how they see products and interact with brands. Today’s low levels of trust in traditional advertising suggest that consumers are seeking a more honest dialogue with brands and marketers. In order for brands to increase engagement and sales, they’ll need to adapt to this changing landscape and communicate with consumers in the authentic visual language they crave.’
The report’s authors also claim that in the UK in particular, user-generated photos play an instrumental role across the customer journey. Some 35% of Brits are interested in looking at social media photos while ‘pre-shopping’ – when consumers begin browsing products – and another quarter (24%) turn to user-generated content while shopping online or in-store.
British respondents also showed a particular fondness for brand engagement on social media as almost half (48%) have uploaded photos featuring a brand’s hashtag. This trend is even stronger among the younger generation, with 57% of British millennial respondents reporting the same.
The full report can be downloaded here>

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