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Reddit has been a favorite platform of marketers for years now. It’s also enjoyed a position as the second-fastest growing platform for social media sharing. But neither of these things are what makes Reddit so loved and trusted by its users.

According to a new study released by American Press Institute, Reddit is the second most trusted social media platform for users who seek news and information via social. The following percentage of respondents said they “trust news a great deal/a lot” on these platforms:

  • LinkedIn: 23%
  • Reddit: 22%
  • Twitter: 18%
  • Instagram: 17%
  • YouTube: 16%
  • Snapchat: 14%
  • Facebook: 12%

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Interestingly enough, despite the fact that Facebook is the least trusted platform, the network is named four times more frequently than any other network as a “social media source for news and information.” Meanwhile, Reddit ties with Snapchat in last place as a source frequently used for news and information.

So, what makes Reddit so loved and trusted?

Authenticity.

If you’ve never spent time on Reddit, then you might not get this. But those of you who have explored a Reddit community know that all Redditors share one thing: genuine passion for the topic at hand. With that passion comes knowledge and authenticity.

As a rule, people who are knowledgeable, authentic, and passionate receive our trust.

This new data on consumers’ perception of Reddit reminds us just how important trust is in the social space. A little over a year ago, we shared a post on the BuzzPlant Blog that evaluated 24,000 social media-connected consumers to see how trust plays into online purchase behaviors. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • 88% trust a friend/family member who received a free product in exchange for a review
  • 78% trust a blogger who received a free product in exchange for a review
  • 70% trust a friend/family member who was paid to review a product/service
  • 48% trust a blogger who was paid to review a product/service

If you look at that data, you’ll notice two things. One, people trust their friends and family members over strangers. Two, even the fact that a review has been paid for doesn’t make the average consumer all too skeptical about their friend or family member.

Where does the trust develop in this instance? Relationship. Social media users feel comfortable trusting the people they already know–the people who have already been vetted, which, in many ways, is what the Reddit community does.

Going back to the original study referenced at the beginning of this post, American Press Institute reports…

“Participants in the focus groups said source is key on social media — and by source, they meant the original source creating the story and the person who shared it. Several people said if they respect the person who is posting news or perceive that person as knowledgeable on the subject, it can lend credibility to the story.”

While the original source is important, the actual individual’s reputation plays a key role in vetting the story’s trustworthiness.

How do you build trust through your brand?
Do you feel like you’re creating an authentic relationship with your audience via social media or elsewhere?

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