Gotta start with the quote on this one:
But the human element remains key to engendering trust. Internet users worldwide reported a nearly 50% increase in their trust of social network contacts giving product recommendations, and a 21% increase for microblog contacts.
Another doozy from eMarketer regarding who gives the most trusted recommendations. The smart folks over there pulled together some research about Word-of-Mouth and those that use it. Here are a couple other nice snippets:
Other research tends to support the traditional view that word-of-mouth from friends, family and other peers is still the most trustworthy way of getting information about products and services. Teen influencers toldKetchum in May that friends with their top source of information
But Edelman’s “Trust Barometer” report for 2011 shows, for the second year in a row, an apparent decline in trust of a “person like me” (from 47% in 2009 to 43% in 2011) and a concomitant rise in trust for experts.
So the real question we all need to answer when we wade through our networks and daily reading is: who do we trust to provide recommendations? Perhaps for financial products, it make s sense to take a "pros" word, but maybe with such items as as smart phones and tablets, we are happier with personal recs from our friends? What do you think?