The year 2018 had Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg under the prying eyes of the press testifying before a United States Senate Committee. Headlines highlighted how Mark was apologizing to his users following a data breach and addressing concerns over privacy on board his popular social media site.

ms_trust

While Facebook still remains a strong force for social media marketing, recent statistics have shared some dismal numbers when it comes to his site and its users. For the first time in over a decade, FB has slipped to the number two slot falling behind YouTube in terms of popularity. While its still near the top of the pile, other numbers reveal:

  • The number of Facebook users has remained relatively stagnant, neither increasing nor decreasing significantly since 2016.
  • This site is losing traction with younger users who are migrating in droves over to newer platforms like Instagram.
  • Youngsters on Snapchat are making up the majority of their audience with 78% of all 18-24 year-olds logging into this site.
  • Over 90% of today’s executives are turning to LinkedIn for their professional content.
  • YouTube is now the second most-used search engine next to the tech giant Google.

The timing of this type of data points to a growing mistrust with both Mr. Zuckerberg and his once most-popular social media site. While it is impossible to say with 100% certainty these declinations are directly due to scandals and users losing faith in Facebook, but the press is still tying the two topics together. Some have reported a 40% drop in stock prices from a recent peak and another pointing to the lowest closing sales price on the market in almost two years.

The Rise Of Reviews

The growth of consumer-based, online review sites like Yelp are finding more users turning to these channels before making a purchase. As a matter of fact, 90% of customers consult reviews on the internet before visiting a business. The influence these reviews are having on the reputation of a brand is significant when you consider:

  • Online reviews have an impact of almost 70% on purchasing decisions.
  • Almost three-quarters of consumers reveal reading positive online reviews makes them trust a local business even more.
  • Over 80% of Yelp users visit this site because they are intending to make a purchase or utilize a particular service.
  • Nearly 85% of customers reveal they trust an online review as much as a personal recommendation.

Furthermore, for every additional star found on the Yelp website, this appearance leads to an increase of up to 10% of a business’ revenue. A few one-star ratings and negative reviews are generally taken with a grain of salt with current web-savvy users. However, an overall number of negative reports and experiences could have a long-lasting effect with many possible backlashes for modern business in our tech-drenched society.

As you can see, trust in a brand and building a positive reputation both play an important role in a consumer’s perception of a brand or business along with their products and services. Keeping the faith with today’s online users will ensure they remain customers and new leads are confident in our company.