Dear Brand Manager,

Two words evoke the essence of your responsibility: Trust Agent. Not because Chris Brogan and Julien Smith say so, but rather from your customers calling for it.

Here’s the dirty little secret so-called social networking “experts” don’t want you to know: “US consumers are most interested in brands that keep them up to date and improve their knowledge. And they do not want brands to act like their friends.”

That admonition, “Americans Want Brands that Inform”, delivered by eMarketer Digital Intelligence, comes out of data provided by Lightspeed research. It’s telling. And there’s more:

Helping consumers keep up to date on topics that were important to them was also key, followed by being entertaining, becoming part of a daily routine, and informing consumers about the product and the company. Consumers were relatively uninterested in brands that tried to act like their friends.

Let me ask you, does your strategic communications plan provide your business ways to improve your customers’ knowledge? Keep up to date on topics important to your customers? Be entertaining? Become part of a daily routine? Inform consumers?

Be informing, build trust. Be trustworthy, build a market. Your customers demand information, shine a light.

[Strategis thanks guest blogger Critt Jarvis for this post; @crittjarvis]