Bloggers’ Reviews: Do People Trust Them?
Which would you trust more, a press release or a blogger’s review? This question has prompted a variety of answers from my friends, ranging from, “Nobody trusts press releases,” to “If the blog post was paid for, neither!”
And yet I often look at blogs to find out if a restaurant is good or not.
Yes, social media is not like its traditional counterpart, but it’s potentially just as (if not more) powerful. More and more people find themselves online, using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Plus to look for interesting ideas and share their own.
With more blogs now visible online via social networks, people are gaining access to more blogs by the minute. The majority of people now read blogs, status posts, and tweets more than newspapers!
But are bloggers’ reviews to be trusted?
Bloggers’ Reviews: Integrity versus Sponsorship
Many bloggers accept sponsors. They review the sponsor’s products and services, sharing their opinions with the public through their blogs. But are these reviews balanced, or are they motivated by the desire to foster a relationship with companies who provide sponsorship?
Some bloggers prefer to hold off on negative comments as a courtesy to their partners and sponsors. Others think their blogs are, first and foremost, for the sake of readers and they will not sacrifice their integrity. Between these two extremes, the lines start to blur.
One thing is for sure: Blogs provide a personal touch that readers find relatable. Who doesn’t like reading about a person’s detailed opinions about a product?
Thankfully, only about 71 percent of bloggers prefer to review brands that they personally trust and like. Very few bloggers will back a brand they don’t even use.
If you own a blog, it’s time to ask yourself what your stand is on sponsorships, partnerships, and blog reviews. As bloggers, we try to develop a relationship with our readers. We try to establish trust. What we do with our honest opinions (especially our negative feedback) regarding our sponsors is our business – but we should always remember that our “business” depends on our readers’ trust.
Negative Blogger Reviews: Would You Write Them?
If a brand contacts your blog and asks you to attend their event or review their product, do you publish all your opinions, negative and positive?
Do you feel that you are bound by courtesy, that you should only publish positive reviews?
Do you prefer not publishing a blog post altogether if you have something negative to say? Or do you feel you owe it to your readers to publish the truth, whether it points to a brand’s assets or its shortcomings?
Don’t hesitate to speak up. Go ahead, leave a comment. Your inputs just might help fellow bloggers who are undecided about this issue.