One of the primary reasons companies and businesses spend money and work hard to develop an online presence through social media is for the interaction between fans and followers. But one of the misconceptions is that the quantity of fans is the most important. Sure, having 3,000 followers is awesome, but if they’re passive or junk accounts, then they aren’t doing your business much good.

We’ve discussed in a previous blog post why it’s important to have an online presence that’s both well-established and engaging , but one thing we didn’t cover is why your fans’ and followers’ recommendations are so important. The reason is simple–trust.

If there’s one thing that links people together through social media, it’s trust. Most people don’t add friends on Facebook or follow someone on Twitter if they don’t trust them and/or value their opinion. Just like you wouldn’t befriend someone you didn’t trust in the real world. This trust is what can make or break a brand, company or business in social media. People don’t usually share mediocre experiences with their friends online, but if you can provide your online community with an extraordinary experience, they’ll more than likely tell their friends about it.

This type of sharing is what can really help a business grow, especially a smaller, local business. If a few people are gushing about the hottest new place or product, their friends and followers will be more influenced to try it out for themselves, whether it’s a restaurant, automobile maintenance garage or boutique. This is why it’s imperative that your customers trust you as a company and a business. If they don’t, they’ll tell the world. But if they do, they’ll do the same and the results will be clear.

We want to know if you can tell us of any instance when you tried out a new product or business because of a friend’s recommendation online. What do you think? Is trust as important as we believe?

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