Technical experts and their peers are considered the most credible for information on social media, according to the latest 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer survey. By comparison, celebrities, corporate executives and journalists are considered far less credible.

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Reproduced from Edelman Trust Barometer, Special Report: Brands and Social Media, 2018; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: Trust in traditional institutions — like media, government and business — is declining, so people are turning to less traditional sources of information about their favorite brands, like technical experts, academic experts and likeminded people.

Looks matter. When it comes to determining whether or not content from a brand on social media is credible, most respondents said that the quality of a person’s writing or visuals was the most important attribute towards making a judgement call on the brand.

  • A majority of respondents also rated “content that is well-designed and looks formal” (58%) and “the logo of the organization that produced the content next to the post” (55%) as important attributes towards trusted information.
  • A majority of users (57%) also said it’s important that It is easy to determine who paid for the content.

Organic outreach matters. When it comes to building a strong relationship with a brand on social media, a majority of consumers (59%) also say it's important that they've opted in to receive communications from the organization.

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