by Dan Ward
The growth of social media has opened a number of opportunities for marketers, but it has also given rise to a troubling phenomenon … consumers are now putting their trust, and basing their buying decisions, on anonymous postings from people they’ve never met.
Booking a vacation to an exotic resort? Don’t worry about travel guides or travel agents. Read what Joe Blow from Akron has to say about his recent trip in an Internet posting. His advice is certainly more valuable than those purported “experts” whose careers are based on providing accurate, helpful information.
As someone born and educated in pre-Internet, it’s hard to fathom why so many would put their faith in anonymous Web postings rather than advice of friends, family and experts.
The lesson for people like me, and indeed for any businessperson, is that engaging in the online conversation is no longer an option. If consumers are placing their faith in the Web, we need to be there … and we need to learn to speak the language.