Keep Your Facebook Friends Close…

If you can’t trust your friends, who can you trust? Yet according to the latest Trust Barometer from Edelman, respondents who viewed their friends and peers as credible sources of information about a company plummeted from 45 percent in 2008 to 25 percent, AdAge.com reports.

Social networks were cited as one of the reasons for the decline, with 360i director of emerging media David Berkowitz telling AdAge.com:

When you’re seeing so much noise, it’s very easy to dismiss a lot of it, and that’s a problem marketing messages have had for a while now. Facebook really exemplifies this with the Live Feed and News Feed options. If you use the Live Reed and have a few-hundred friends, some kind of peer recommendation, whether it’s explicit or not, appears every couple of minutes, and sometimes they come in a matter of seconds. If you’re seeing all of that come in, it can be overwhelming.

Christina Smedley, global head of Edelman’s consumer practice, had a more positive take, telling AdAge.com:

There are…consumers who still only trust the people they see every day or their 120 friends on Facebook, but there are those that trust all 380 of their friends on Facebook. And there’s opportunity for brands with both groups. If marketers can find those action consumers, they can build campaigns that work through their parameters and get some very good results.