While social media has become a constant in the everyday lives of Canadians, they seem to have some trust issues with their favourite platforms.
According to a report by the Globe and Mail on a survey to be released by Environics Communications tomorrow, social media companies are among the least trusted industries by Canadians.
Respondents were asked to rate businesses on a trustworthiness scale of one to seven and just 26 percent of Canadians gave social media companies a rating above five.
Furthermore, Canadians trust social media companies less than banks, telecommunications companies, online shopping and e-commerce companies as well as broadcasting institutions. These numbers, according to Environics CEO Bruce MacLellan, are surprising.
“These are relatively new industries, they haven’t had a lot of time to accumulate baggage … but there’s something about what’s going on that is not creating trust,” he said in an interview with the Globe.
He goes on to explain that most social media companies are less than 10 years old, which doesn’t leave a lot of time to cultivate a bad reputation.
The survey reveals that Canadian trust in social media is tied for last with their trust in the energy and pipeline industry.
Based on the results as well as previous surveys, it seems like Canadians are distrustful of business in general, with digital content companies largely scoring among the lowest.
What’s interesting is that social media companies are not the only drivers of distrust among Canadians, but companies that rely heavily on social media are often seen as untrustworthy as well.
According to the survey, communicating on social media is the last effective way to gain consumer trust.
Social networking platforms were revealed to be the second-least trusted source of product information, just slightly higher than online advertising.
Social media was also the least effective trust-builder under companies that create jobs, support charities or employ respondent’s acquaintances who like working there.
Environics obtained these results from the repsonses of 1001 Canadians.
Despite these high levels of suspicion, Canadians remain one of the most active populations on social media in the world. According to a comScore survey conducted in 2015, the majority of Canadians access the internet through mobile devices and of those respondents, the bulk of the usage was for social media purposes.
So all in all, no matter how much Canada has come to rely on social media, these companies have still got a ways to go before Canadians let them off the hook.
[via]Globe and Mail[/via]