A discussion on an article published by the American Marketing Association: Can Marketers Repair Social Media’s Crisis of Trust?
Can they? Yes. Should they? Absolutely.
IMO it is the responsibility of marketers to help brands communicate in such a way that ensures the long-term existence of social media platforms. I would go as far to say that this holds true to all forms of marketing/communication platforms (e.g. search engines, email inboxes, TV, etc.)
The article from the American Marketing Association does an excellent job of addressing the problem.
The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer reports declining trust in social media, particularly in the U.S. This is traced to what the authors call a “crisis of trust,” namely, a loss of faith in institutions ranging from business to government to nongovernmental organizations. A major contributor, they believe, is the lack of objective facts and rational discourse in social media.
The article goes on to discuss several areas where trust has eroded over the years. I highly suggest reading through it.
Facebook, Adwords, and other platforms have made it very easy for businesses to advertise themselves at a low cost. In turn, a sea of “marketers” has risen to service the immense demand for companies that want higher CTR, better CPA, and more engagement. The problem is that there are a TON of people out there that know how to manipulate the platforms to achieve those metrics, but they are unaware of the true cost of doing such. A sociological cost that is eroding the very freedoms that the platforms were popularized on.
This has to stop.
I see similar things happening with social media “influencers” who are shilling out their pages for branded posts to make a quick buck. These platform heroes end up focusing on “monetizing” rather than providing content. Further driving down the value of the platform.
You have to respect the platform.
We need REAL marketers to step up to the plate. Those of us that understand what it means to build brand equity and trust need to speak up. We should be the ones pushing the envelope with these platforms. If we don’t then we are going to be subject to rules created to stop the exploiters, and that will be very restricting.
I want to do a much bigger piece of content on this. Perhaps a full video with some great examples and a roadmap for making changes. We’ll see!