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Study Shows Online Users Seldom Trust “Internet” Friends

Andy Beal Posted by

It seems like a new report on social media marketing is released weekly. Today, we see a new report from Razorfish–which surely must help with its attempts to find a knight in shining armor.

Aside from Razorfish’s creation of a new Social Influence Marketing (SIM) Score–which measures the reach and sentiment of your brand in social media–there’s nothing earth-shattering contained in the Fluent report.

Except, perhaps, this:

76% of the 1,000 consumers polled, said they trust their offline friends when making a product purchase decision. Compare that to just 33% who say they trust their online friends!

Clearly, this demonstrates that while social networks might encourage us all to be one big friendly social network, we’re clinging to our old-school definition of friend. It’s somewhat encouraging to see that we’re not collectively being duped into believing that when we add someone as a “friend” we’re instantly BFFs.

More startling is we trust our online friends less than we trust TV ads, social network ads, or online reviews. In fact, we barely trust the opinions of our online friends more than we trust banner ads!

This chart sums-up our trust:

You can read the full report here.


About the Author: Andy Beal is an internet marketing consultant and considered one of the world's most respected and interactive search engine marketing experts. Andy has worked with many Fortune 1000 companies such as Motorola, CitiFinancial, Lowes, Alaska Air, DeWALT, NBC and Experian. You can read his internet marketing blog at Marketing Pilgrim and reach him at

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