A recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Association of Interactive Marketing found that Social Media has an extremely high level of trust among people working in businesses.
The full presentation is available on Slideshare, but the below two charts struck me as most relevant.
The first shows that Social Media is shown as trustworthy and influential a media channel as television. What is interesting about this is the relative cost of using television vs social media. A Social Media campaign will generally cost a small fraction the amount of a television advertisement.
The second chart shows how businesses recognize the power Social Media provides in creating connections with customers. This is a unique aspect of Social Media and one that more and more companies are coming to recognize. The Nirvana of connection is, of course, a company joining in co-creation with its own customers.