I was reading through Marketing Magazine and came across an article entitled: "Peer Trust Plunges". The subtitle read: "Consumers trust friends less, CEO's more, according to latest Edelman study."
The article goes on to outline that: "the number of people who view their friends and peers as credible sources of information about a company dropped by almost half, from 45% to 25%, since 2008..."
This is a bit of validation for me because although I'm a fan of social media and hold high the banner of authenticity and accessibility, I've always struggled with passionate people who say that social networking and social media are in fact, the future of all organizations and those that don't get on board, will fail.
I think that's an extreme position and it's a wonderful play on the human tendency to allow the pendulum to swing too far one way or the other. Lots of people have made loads of cash preaching the death of old marketing and the extreme perspective that social media is THE future. I'm not convinced it is. It's definitely a part of our future, arguably a big part, and it will evolve as this study shows it already has, but it's not the silver bullet for marketing.
So for me, this is a lesson in being careful to not allow the pendulum to swing too far to the left or the right. At times, there's definitely opportunities to foray into the extreme edges of our reach and explore what's out there, but let's be passionate about maintaining an unbiased and evaluative perspective, instead of just doing what the next guy is or what the big marketing guru is saying to do.
To my mind, that's more of a silver bullet than social media will ever be.