Only 10% of people aged 55 and over trust Facebook and just 6% of this group trust Twitter for finding out what’s happening in their local community. The highest levels of trust – still only 29% – were within the 25 to 34 age group.
In contrast, local newspapers and regional radio were trusted by 67% and 35% of people within local communities respectively, according to the CSR and the Local Community research commissioned by Havas PR
Nigel Hughes, director at Havas PR, said: "Social media has a prominent place at the table, but marketers run the risk of over-hyping it as a solution.
"Brands need to realise it’s not a one-size-fits-all tool for reaching every demographic. The death of the local newspaper and impact of radio has clearly been exaggerated".
Respondents most wanted to see supermarkets involved in their local community with 60% believing they should take part, while almost half of respondents wanted banks to contribute to the community.
Research found the most popular form of private support within the community was sponsorship, followed by getting disadvantaged people into the workplace.
Hughes said: "The research showed that there’s a big battleground between opportunity and cynicism about CSR within communities.
"Get it wrong or ill-judged and it will be seen as a PR stunt, get the message right and 52% of people agreed that they were more likely to buy products from a company that is active in their local community. That’s an opportunity too many brands are missing."
The research was carried out in February and more than 2,000 people were surveyed.