A recent Forrester Research studyfound that only 16 percent of consumers trust what they read on blogs. Of all information sources, including traditional and interactive media, corporate blogs finished last in consumers trust.
Other forms of corporate social media didn’t do well, either. Social networking profiles from brands were trusted by just 18 percent of consumers.
Traditional media, on a whole, gets more trust from consumers than digital outlets, according to Forrester. The Yellow Pages are trusted by 48 percent of respondents, newspapers by 46 percent, magazines and radio by 39 percent and TV by 38 percent.
In contrast, wikis were trusted by 33 percent, message board posts by 21 percent, online classifieds by 20 percent, personal blogs by 18 percent, followed by company social network profiles and blogs.
I would venture to guess that consumers react to the fact that most corporate blogs do online what companies do through all types of media – talk at people and tell them what they need to know. They don’t invite conversation. They don’t listen. Customers aren’t passive receivers just waiting for you to stuff them with messages about what they should think and how they should act. They are thoughtful. They might like you or they might not. You can find out by engaging them in conversations, off line and on line.
Here’s a quick measure to determine if you are talking at your blog visitors or engaging them. Read your last 10 posts. How many questions do you ask of the reader? How many are influenced by something a customer told you or asked you? If the answer is less than eight, you are talking more than you are listening and interacting. Rethink your strategy.
If you approach your blogging as you would any relationship, by inviting open and honest back and forth conversation, you will find success.