Viewpoint: Social media research: developing a trust metric in the social age

Gaëlle Bertrand


Few theoretical purchase decision models recognise the influence of social media on consumer decisions. A really interesting revision of the consumer decision process, penned by McKinsey, recently did however. It acknowledges this influence, by referring to it as ‘bonding’, further confirming that brands can no longer ignore the impact social media has in triggering consumer choices, and influencing their perception and trust in brands.

Peer recommendations already play a significant part in the ZMOT, or Zero Moment of Truth – a phrase coined by Google to explain the influence of web adverts and content on purchase decisions, and an online translation of the now legendary phrase popularised by Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley, who in a 2002 letter to shareholders defined the First Moment of Truth as the moment ‘when consumers stand in front of a store shelf … and decide whether to buy a P&G brand, or a competing product’.