Despite social media being hailed as a new way for brands to appear more transparent and honest, something’s not working: according to the latest study from YouGov, consumers actually trust retail brands that have Twitter accounts less than their non-tweeting competition.
Over half (55 percent) of online shoppers feel that retailers with a social media presence are less trustworthy, with only 27 percent saying social media makes them trust brands more.
Twitter itself fares a bit better than social media in general, with 52 percent of consumers saying it reduces trust in a retailer but 37 percent saying it increases it.
And – perhaps even more surprisingly – consumers don’t find social logins to be particularly useful, with just 14 percent saying it makes their life easier when using retail sites.
39 percent of shoppers prefer to keep their social activity separate from their online shopping activity, despite the push from retailers to share purchases and wishlists on social channels. And this need for privacy is even more pronounced in the youngest consumers – 57 percent of 16 to 24 don’t want to see their Twitter linked to their purchases.
James McCoy, Research Director of YouGov, says:
“… it appears that consumers prefer to keep their shopping and social sites separate, with online consumers not trusting retailers that are on the likes of Twitter. What is worse for retailers is that younger, more social media savvy consumers are the ones who have the greatest objections to using their Facebook and Twitter accounts for shopping. This is something they will need to address if they are to affectively deploy online marketing budgets.”