This post is based on a TechnoratiMedia document, called ‘2013 Digital Influence Report’.
This latest study by Technorati gives very interesting insight into the behavior of brands and consumers when it comes to their engagement with social media.
Facebook, Google+, Twitter or blog: whom do the consumers trust most?
One question that the report tries to answer is what platform do the consumers trust the most in taking buying decisions on the net. The answer – obvious to us ;) – is blogs!
Blogs are trusted by consumers more than Facebook and Twitter, and we sort of knew it, but it comes to us as surprise that blogs rank higher even for their popularity and influence. For consumers, retail sites and brands’ own sites come on top for information relating to a product or service, but after that they seem to depend on blogs to cross-check the information, get feedback and so on.
Bloggers influence decisions. Influencers blog a lot!
The report also says, almost nine out of ten social media influencers do blogging, and nine out of ten of these influencers blog for themselves. They do not produce much content outside of their blogs.That means, bloggers greatly influence decisions, because they are trusted for their information, advice and opinion. Don't we go to such blogs and websites again and again whose content guided us sincerely on earlier occasions?
And yet bloggers are paid less
Yes, despite the credibility of blogs, bloggers get paid lowly. This is because, as the survey finds out, ‘brands’ do not perceive blogging platform of high value. For them, blogs come after Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Because social media managers of companies look at wrong parameters to judge where to put their money.
Brands, avoid herd mentality and look seriously at blogs!
The findings follow that brands are mistaken on two counts. First, they wrongly think that platforms that look fashionable at present [Facebook, Twitter] influence consumer decisions more than less trendy platforms such as blogs. Second, for deciding spending on digital platforms, they go by wrong metrics – number of fans / followers / likes etc on Facebook and Twitter. These tell more about which way the herd is moving rather than what individual surfers aspire for and like to own.
What the ‘brands’ should do – to influence consumers – is to seriously look at the blogging platform. Once here, they should go for blogs that are trusted by others. One good way, but not enough, could be to look at Google PageRank and blog listings in authoritative open directories. There are many other ways to look at a blog's influence as against the data the analytics providers such as ComScore give them. They must build long-term relationship of trust with bloggers. They must learn to pay for visibility on blogs that attract potential visitors, discuss relevant matters, offer genuine solutions, have unbiased product reviews and so on.
Well, for bloggers the takeaway is, as we always say: blog regularly and maintain high quality of content.