Every survey that I’ve seen in the past five+ years talking about sources of consumer trust always show recommendations from a friend as the highest rated. Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising and Brand Messages report is the latest, finding that 84% of respondents across 58 countries rate word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family as the most trustworthy source of input.
Recently, Google updated its Terms of Service to indicate that user data might be used in conjunction with ads, called shared endorsements. Facebook has a similar product called social ads. You can opt out of these associations…but should you?
Consumers dislike advertising for two main reasons: irrelevance and interruption. Placing ads within the context of search takes care of the latter. When we +1 and Like brands, that addresses the former — friends typically share mutual interests and with endorsement, there’s trust added to relevance.
So before you revolt and opt out of having your profile associated with ads on social networks, consider what help you’d like to get from your friends — and what you’ll give them in return.