With fake news appearing in the media on a daily basis, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that this is the age of distrust. Social media is where this monster breeds; inundating scores of social sites with feeds and tempting readers with the irresistible click bait headlines. Initially it turned out to be a gold mine for marketers but it is now increasingly becoming clear that there’s a heavy price to pay for such crimes – the cost of trust and consumer confidence.
Now, that’s a marketer’s worst nightmare because it can spell doom for any business. As history shows, necessity has often been the most potent reason behind most innovations, the fallout of fake news, has in a way provided brands to make the necessary adjustments and investments on peer review or what is commonly known as customer reviews.
It’s not that customer reviews are a new innovation that has arrived on the market. Rather, it was present since the early days of eCommerce although in a much smaller scale than what it is now. According to Pew Research Center, half of all adult shoppers now regularly check online reviews before making a purchasing decision. Another finding by an agency named Report Linker revealed that almost four-fifths of the customers, who read online reviews, find them reliable. For marketers, it’s time to focus on the voices, opinions and beliefs of existing customers, because this now says much more about a brand than anything else, including traditional advertising.
This is a clear indication of how marketing dollars should be spent in the present day and especially under the looming shadow of the monster called fake news. While it goes without saying that a smooth and seamless customer-feedback mechanism should be an integral part of every ecommerce site today, brands have to overcome the trust barrier on a much larger scale and gain traction with a much larger audience. This is where social media offers the most obvious platform to get customers to talk about the brand which will not just outwit the impact of fake news but also help in winning back customers’ trust and confidence in the brand.