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Social media trust plummets and Australians are divided in the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Report

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Social media trust plummets and Australians are divided in the 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Report


The 2023 Edelman Trust Report was released this month. It was an eye opener with some disturbing statistics, along with glimmers of positivity and opportunity 

Many results are broken down by country and others are global. Download the full report here.

In Australia trust in business YOY was 54 percent versus government at 45 percent. Another survey, found that 41 percent of Australians believed when government and business truly collaborate, there is four times the likelihood of a positive outcome.  

Disturbingly, Australia is becoming a very divided nation and sitting precariously towards the ‘polarisation danger zone’.  The survey chart on page 16 demonstrates how close we are as a nation  to tipping over.  This is a call to action in every part of our society.

Key insights and takeaways 

It’s a massive report which you can lose yourself in. I have taken five selected insights that correlate to marketers, hiring challenges and business broadly

1. Trust in industry sectors 

Global results with technology the highest at 75 percent and social media the lowest at 44 percent (coinciding with the following chart of news source trust).  

I think it’s fair to assume that ‘social media’ is not just the platforms but the whole industry selling social media services.  

The big takeaway here is the opportunity for the sectors under 70 percent and in the neutral zone to lift their game. Marketers must review communication of values and take action to lift customer service and brand perception.

The tide can rise wonderfully here and indeed can capture well with a media and PR focus to address industry distrust issues head on.

2. Trust in news sources 

Globally Search Engines ranks highest at 63 percent (+ one percent) the lowest social media at 41 percent (down one percent)

Think this is a strong enough call out to not put all your marketing and digital assets in the one basket and give more value to your website and Google. But this also is a great opportunity for those in the less trusted areas to shine a light and be better.

3. Consumers and employees pressure business to stand up 

Globally 69 percent, want organisations to have a strong societal impact when considering a new job. And 63 percent will buy or advocate for brands based on their beliefs and values. 

Pretty obvious call out again for hiring organisations and brands to build honest values based cultures and workplaces.

4. CEOs most expected to act on key issues

This clearly talks to the strength of employer brand of choice positioning and the value for both small to large organisations to step up and stand out in the issues that they give a hoot about. 

And make no mistake rhetoric must meet reality. If there is any disconnect with what is said vs what is done, trust plummets and staff leave.

5. Trust in business type  

Globally family owned businesses rank highest at 67 percent with the lowest state owned at 50 percent. A strong encouragement for new small businesses to launch and for larger businesses to review how they operate and perceived.

Reading through the through the latest Edelman report was fascinating with many implications.

Whilst it had many red flags of global and Australian concern, there is a range of opportunity and hope that can be leveraged by marketers and brands.


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Sue Parker

Sue Parker is the owner of Dare Group Australia. She is a national career strategist, personal branding and LinkedIn expert.

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