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Who Cares If People Don't Trust Blogs?

Lithium Alumni (Retired)

i_dont_read_your_blog.jpgJosh Bernoff recently released a study headlined "People don't trust company blogs. What you should do about it." that has a lot of people talking about the relevance of corporate blogs and how they can be improved. A worthwhile counterpoint to the article is from Max Kalehoff at AttentionMax if you are interested in following the discussion.


I can see how this might be an interesting question for debate, but I wonder just how useful this information ultimately is. You could change the question to whether people trust companies and corporations, and you would likely get a similar result. Does that mean companies should try harder to get people to trust them? Of course, but I also think that conclusion is missing the real opportunity.

For me, these survey results boil down to something we should have known all along: People trust their peers more than they trust companies. So instead of working to make everyone in the world trust you, wouldn't it be more productive to earn the trust of the more vocal peers (the super users) and then help them advocate on your behalf?


Let's call this the basic community advocacy strategy:

 

  1. Find the most vocal and influential peers
  2. Embrace them and earn their trust
  3. Provide more ways for them to talk about you and influence others


Blogs are a useful tool in this strategy, but you are facing an uphill battle if your measure of success is to gain everyone's trust (or even the trust of a majority of your readers according to the Forrester survey). Don't spread your efforts so thin, focus instead on what will have the greatest effect: building relationships with those influential peers to reach the broader audience.

 

It's not how many people trust you, it's who trusts you that ultimately counts.

 

 

photo by greefus groinks

About the Author
Scott is a Client Services Engagement Manager at Lithium and the Community Manager for the Lithosphere community. In this role he helps enterprise organizations using social media to locate and engage their brand advocates and influencers to address real business challenges.