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2010 Edelman Trust Trends. 7 Destiny-Accelerators and YOU.



Social Media Doesn’t Work As Well As Some Think.

For real estate agents, it’s even better or worse! Read on to find out who’s doomed and who’s charmed.

Is Social Media A Hope Hoax?

Ad Age Headline

In The Age Of Friending, Consumers Trust Their Friends Less

Edelman Study Shows That Only 25% of People Find Peers Credible, Flying in Face of Social-Media Wisdom

Who Do You Trust?

Ad Age Article pull quotes…

“If consumers stop believing what their friends and the “average Joes” appearing in testimonials say about a product or company, the implications could be significant not just for marketers but for the social networks and word-of-mouth platforms selling themselves as solutions to communicating in a jaded world.

Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have allowed people to maintain larger circles of casual associates, which may be diluting the credibility of peer-to-peer networks. In short, the more acquaintances a person has, the harder it can be to trust him or her. Mr. Edelman believes the Facebook component has “absolutely” played a role in diluting trust levels.”

“Richard Edelman, President and CEO of Edelman, believes it’s a sign of the times — and the lesson for marketers is consumers have to see and hear things in five different places before they believe it.”

What’s Really Going On?

The 2010 Edleman Trust Barometer reports that people who trust their friends and peers as the source for trustworthy source of information about companies has swooned from 45% in 2008 to 25% in 2010.

Oddly, the publicly released report does not have the chart above, but, there is lots of interesting information in the report. It’s worth reading.

The survey reports that people like you and me, we’ve lost trust in just about everything; companies, politicians, banks, etc.  In times of trouble, we look for safety, leadership, certainty and expertise.

Here’s a quote from Mr. Edelman…

“The events of the last 18 months have scarred people,” Mr. Edelman said. “People have to see messages in different places and from different people. That means experts as well as peers or company employees. It’s a more-skeptical time. So if companies are looking at peer-to-peer marketing as another arrow in the quiver, that’s good, but they need to understand it’s not a single-source solution. It’s a piece of the solution”

“Consumers are a distrustful bunch in general — the credibility of TV dropped 23 points and radio news and newspapers were down 20 points between 2008 and 2010.”

I believe it’s true!  Recent cataclysms cause us to trust less in general.   Specifically, we trust companies, government and corporations less than ever.  But (Behold the Underlying Truth), I believe these troubled times make social media more important than ever, for real estate agents.  Here’s why, in the yellow box above Edelman shares…

“People who say their friends and peers are credible information sources about companies is down from 45%.”

I bolded two words, “about companies”.  The survey question and answer is about companies, not an individual REALTOR®.  I believe that citizens choose their real estate agent 180 degrees differently than choosing a company/corporation/institution.  As you know, in real estate, citizens generally choose the agent first, not the company.  That an agent is partnered with a brand name company enhances the odds of being chosen.  Company brand can be an important consideration, it’s rarely the defining factor in choosing the agent.  An agents personal brand is the most important factor, and, correctly using Social Media enhances an agent’s personal brand.

Plus, Social Media is not a Money-Getting-Machine, it’s a Destiny-Accelerator. If a person sucks, Social Media accelerates their downfall.  If a person is remarkable, Social Media will accelerate their success.  Since Social media accelerates your destiny, here’s…

Seven Destiny-Accelerators For The Charmed

  1. In troubled times, people clamor for expertise – use social media wisely to demonstrate your expertise.
  2. In troubled times, people need to see it a few times to believe it – use social media to share and show what other experts say and how it supports what you believe. Don’t TELL!  Do SHOW!  Use 3rd, 4th and 5th party proof.
  3. Long term success in real estate is dependent upon healthy relationships – for business, use social media primarily to stay in touch, share, conversate, educate and entertain.  Go slow on the selling.
  4. In troubled times life, trust is a differentiators – beam trustworthy behavior in all your social media efforts.
  5. Use Social Media to strengthen Top of Mind Awareness – Relevant, Remarkable, Repetition.
  6. Social Media accelerates the inevitable.
  7. Use Social Media to position yourself for what’s MOST IMPORTANT:   In-Person, On-Purpose Contact > Conversation > Discovery > Connection > Service & Help.

Here’s What Others Have To Say About The 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer.

Consumers Trust Friends Less? I don’t agree

Mark Twain & Benjamin Disraeli

Global Advertising: Consumers Trust Real Friends and Virtual Strangers the Most

A Pretty Cool Report from Razorfish

What Do You Think?


Thanks for reading.  Cheers.

Photo Credit.

Bonus: Edleman’s Digital Visions – 10 New Ideas For The New Decade (These may be new to some, perhaps you know this already.)

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. David G

    February 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Ever since the Walmart fake blog debacle I’ve been very weary of anything Edleman puts out in this space and this report is no exception; it really has my BS-filter on red alert. Why didn’t this chart appear in the original report? Maybe it’s because all of the trust metrics saw an equally major dip (i.e. undermining the insight they wanted to lead this news in the press.) It looks to me like Edleman is cherry-picking the juicy story when all the chart says is … “consumers trust companies less than they did 2 years ago.” Now that’s not nearly as big of a story … but there’s more here; the large and totally linear change in all of these measurements also calls the study into question for me. To me, it looks like they simply changed the way they asked or scored the trust question. Maybe Edleman should start measuring how much consumers trust their studies.

    • Ken Brand

      February 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

      I’m with you David, I thought it was sorta lame. Ummmm, hear ye, hear ye, people are less trusting! No kidding. Thanks for sharing your take as well.

  2. Karen Brewer

    February 15, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Rubbish. Social media is invaluable as a “keeping in touch” tool.What you do once a friend needs you is the key-where the rubber meets the road if you will. I could NEVER keep in touch with as many people as I do thru blogging, FB etc otherwise or have the opportunity to prove myself to them.
    So whats the converse in this cynical time….trust a stranger first? Nah……

  3. Ken Brand

    February 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I’m with you Karen, I do believe it’s like oxygen for real estate agents, for companies and institutions, it’s a must, but not as powerful, not because Social Media doesn’t work, but because people connect with people not a logo. Cheers and thanks for sharing.

  4. Janie Coffey

    February 16, 2010 at 5:53 am

    Hi Ken – I think this is one of your masterpieces! Great info and I really like how you position SM not as a business MAKER but a relationship STRENGTHENER!

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Business Marketing

The Body Shop’s new policy is first come, first employed

(BUSINESS MARKETING) An issue that has been on a lot of peoples minds recently is fair hiring standards, be from sex, race, or age discrimination to former prisoners.



The body shop hires prisoners

Anyone who has tried to get a job in the last decade can tell you that hiring is getting near dystopian. Everyone has heard jokes about needing 5 years of experience for an entry level job or the combined skillset of 3 positions to get one job. Things have gotten to the point where even some large companies are wondering if maybe hiring (and getting hired) shouldn’t be so complicated?

The Body Shop is making a radical change in the way they hire their retail employees this summer. They will be hiring on a first-come first-serve basis. Employees must meet three criteria to apply, but beyond that it’s open season – or “open hiring” as they are calling it.

1. Must be authorized to work in the U.S.
2. Can lift over 50lbs
3. Can stand for 8 hours

The company will not be performing drug tests or background checks for this “open hiring” round. The goal is to remove some of the barriers to entry for people seeking employment. This move will be hugely beneficial to the formerly incarcerated and people who have minor offenses on their record.

The Body Shop’s U.S. GM, Andrea Blieden, said, “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”

This isn’t the first time The Body Shop has tested out this hiring strategy. In December 2019, the company ran a pilot program at their distribution center. According to them, their employee turnover rate dropped from 43% to 16% and productivity improved.

This change could be equally beneficial to both employers and employees. According to, formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of 27%. To put that in perspective, that is higher than the overall national average during the Great Depression.

When established brands make big moves, people pay attention. If they continue to report success, The Body Shop’s hiring practices could be used as a case study for other businesses looking to shake up their hiring process. Perhaps in a few years, this type of hiring could become more common place among retailers.

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Business Marketing

Stay ahead by decluttering your Instagram accounts with this new feature

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Get a head start on your spring cleaning with Instagram’s newest feature. It may become your favorite way to views others accounts.



instagram accounts

In a plot twist you weren’t expecting this week, Instagram is looking to make your life a little easier. Their newest app update includes a feature that groups accounts you follow into curated lists such as most and least interacted with or earliest followed to latest.

If you’ve ever looked at the number of people you follow on Instagram and wondered, “who the heck are these people?” then this update will make your heart sing. Instagram has been around for 10 years now, so it’s understandable that some of our follower lists have gotten a little out of control. Your friends and interests shift over time and it can be difficult to find time to actively curate your social media accounts.

Working with this new feature is simple. To access it just head on over to your Instagram profile and click “Following.” You should see a couple of categories above the list of accounts you follow. As an added bonus, you can also change the sort feature on your follower list. It can be set to show oldest accounts followed first or latest accounts firsts.

instagram accounts

For entrepreneurs and freelancers who don’t have the luxury of a full social media team (or any team at all) small features like this can be a game changer. If this feature sparks you to finally clean up your Instagram, here are a few questions to ask yourself when you’re trying to decide who to keep and who to unfollow.

Why did you originally follow this account?

Does this account still serve your business interests?

What was your main purpose behind following this account? As a business owner you might follow an account on Instagram for any number of strategic reasons. Perhaps this account is a fellow business owner in your area, but they’ve since closed their doors. Chances are you’ll find more than one of these cases in your least interacted with group.

Were you looking for business advice or inspiration? When you’re just starting out with your business, you might have followed a few accounts that aimed to give advice to new business owners. Well, if you’ve been doing this for a few years, you probably already know the basic advice these types of accounts are pushing. It’s time to move on.

Do you know this account IRL? Maybe your business has moved locations or changed niche in the last few years. You might have made some great connections with fellow business owners back in the day, but you may no longer run in the same circles. If you know the person who runs the account IRL and you still want to stay connected there are two options. You can either go follow them on your personal account or you can continue following, but mute the account so it doesn’t clog up your Instagram feed.

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Business Marketing

2020 marketing calendar – plan this year’s marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Have you ever wondered when is the best time for your ad campaign, well look no further. This marketing calendar has every event listed, even weird ones.



When you work for a small business or non-profit, marketing is one of those essential tools that can make a difference in your monthly bottom line or fundraising take. And yet it’s often a challenge for busy owners and employees to find — and take advantage of — fresh promotion opportunities.

Add this to your toolkit… a 2020 Marketing Calendar from the team at Liramail, making note of big events and days that you can use online and IRL to engage customers and donors.

February marketing calendar

Some dates are obvious… major holidays, for instance, particularly the gift-giving ones. But you can find success around other events as well. The Central Texas Food Bank uses the Super Bowl as a driver for one of their most visible annual events, the “Souper Bowl of Caring.” On a smaller scale this year, restaurants and shops around the Austin area and all over the country used January 25, Australia Day, to raise funds for bushfire relief—drawing customers into their businesses, creating community ties and doing good all at once.

This marketing calendar compiles dates both big and small, providing plenty of opportunities for tie-ins and promotions. Running a clothing boutique? Play with Fashion Week. Looking for a good cause to support? World Wildlife Day and International Women’s Day are just a few weeks away. Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day… and that’s all just in the next six weeks.

The calendar is as useful for engaging your social media audience as it is promoting IRL events. You don’t have to own a pizza place to make a post with your team celebrating International Pizza Day and quizzing your followers on their favorite topping. You don’t have to be a veterinarian to turn Love Your Pet Day into a way to engage people by encouraging them to share photos of their pets.

And if you do have a direct tie? Absolutely use it. Each March, for instance, the small Austin well-building non-profit Water to Thrive observes World Water Day with a quick Facebook fundraiser. One of the Austin-area businesses that participated in Australia Day, Bee Cave coffeehouse/boutique Runaway Luna Lifestyle, did so because of family ties there, raising several thousand dollars with an in-store event and social media promotion of a GoFundMe fundraiser.

So page through the marketing calendar, making notes of days that you can take advantage of. And don’t forget, if you’re inspired to create an in-store event or other promotion, be ready for it. Get the initial date on the calendar, and then work backwards to create a long-range plan to support your event. Check your inventory, possibly looking for related items to feature. Book your advertising, draft your newsletter, schedule your social posts. Let your audience know that something special is coming up.

Have fun with it. Add your own dates. Whether you zero in on Talk Like a Pirate Day or Make a Difference Day, you can create new opportunities for your business or non-profit and for your customers as well.

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