Across the globe, almost every single brand has a presence online via social media. That could mean they advertise online via social networks, send out promotional offers, host webinars, etc. With all the advertising out there, do you think people get tired of all the ads they see left, right and center? The answer to that question would be “yes”. Think about this for a second, how do you get the attention and interest of your readers or subscribers? You get it by earning their trust.
There are a lot of factors that affect the loyalty, size, or engagement rates of your social media audience. If you want to have an audience that cares about what you or your brand has to say, you need to build trust amongst your readers.
Building that trust on social media is quite similar to real life.. not easy, not fast, but definitely worth the effort. We now share with you strategies that when executed consistently you can get that bit closer to building into a trusting and dedicated audience.
Building Trust On Social Media
1.) Communicate with your audience using a personal brand voice, in a consistent manner.
You want people (your readers) to trust your brand like they trust a good friend. You want to get your message across to your readers on a human level. Automated generic messages have no personality and can feel robotic when read by your subscribers. Spend some time to think about your brand's voice. Ask yourself, “What key qualities do you want to communicate to your audience?” After that, practice implementing them through a written voice using a warm tone and careful word choices.
As soon as you have your brand voice established, you need to be consistent with it. If one day your posts on social media seem perky and casual but overly formal and stingy the very next day, your readers or audience could become confused and start to lose their interest or trust in your brand.
2.) Find time for some humor and entertainment.
These types of content is a way to lower the defense of your audiences and demonstrates that there is a human being behind all the posts with entertaining content.
We all know that on any given day most of your posts would be about things happening within your industry or content about your marketing strategy but sharing a short video clip that made you laugh or a picture that you find funny (provided it is appropriate and related to your brand), most likely your audience will find it funny as well.
Doing this gives your brand a fun, casual, sincere, and trustworthy personality. It lets your audience as well as other people know that communicating with them is your main goal and not just pushing your product towards them.
3.) Make your posts unique and original ideas.
Sharing posts on social media is easy and is commonly practiced. If you want to gain the trust and respect of your audience, you will need to demonstrate to them that you are the trendsetter by creating unique and original posts of your own. Simply sharing or re-tweeting some of the more popular posts simply turns you into a news feed filler and your brand becomes near invisible to your audience buried by other brands that do set the trend.
This does not mean you cannot or should not share other posts to your audience, you can but just do it every so often. Make certain that you are prioritizing your own original content.
4.) Respond to comments and questions from your audience as much as you can.
When one of your followers asks you a question or makes a comment on one of your posts it shows that they are interested in your brand and/or business. You yourself demonstrate that you care about them by responding in an appropriate and timely manner.
When you compose the response, make sure you are fully addressing the question or comment of your follower. To establish trust between you, the reader, and your audience write each response personally and do not resort to robotic auto responses.
5.) Be transparent to your audience.
Be honest and open to your audience about your business' operation, things like that can go quite a long way. It also helps if you resist the urge to delete posts (unless of course the post is offensive to your other readers). Here's an example: Let's say one of your followers posted a complaint about your business on one of your pages. Let's be honest, it is very tempting to remove it entirely.
By leaving the post and responding to it directly in an appropriate an prompt manner it shows that your are not trying to hide any aspect of your brand or business and that you listen to what your customers say about your brand no matter what.
6.) Holding yourself accountable.
If you are interested in building trust on social media, you have to hold yourself publicly accountable. Eventually bad things might happen. You could miss a particular deadline, miss a shipment, or have something like an “incident” which happened causing some sort of controversy within your company. If you try to cover up the incident or make excuses for why things happened the way they happened it does not reflect a good image towards your audience which negatively impacts their trust rating.
No matter what the circumstances of the negative news, make it a point to acknowledge the root cause of the problem then proceed to clarify any details about your current situation. Also make the effort to make it up to your followers in some way either individually or as a group. It's a statement that says you acknowledge that you made mistakes and will do whatever it takes to correct them and make things right.
7.) Avoid advertising on social media
Social media marketing is a bit of a misnomer, that is if you only use social media for marketing you stand the change of alienating your entire audience. The proper way to market on social media is to provide some form of value to your readers and audience. For example, offering them a promotional rate, offering a product with a free giveaway or answer their inquiries with links to relevant products or services to address their questions. The trust will come naturally if you put in the effort to make providing value to your customers and followers your priority.
Remember to avoid advertising to your audience directly. The second your followers feel that they are only being advertised to and not valued as followers and readers, they will begin to not trust your brand because they will feel that you do not have their best interests in heart and in mind.
8.) Strive for the greater good.
A great way to increase the perceived value and ethical standpoint of your brand or company is through corporate social responsibility. Social media just so happens to be the perfect channel to let your audience and followers know all about it.
Bragging about all your efforts is a big no-no, doing so can cause your customers, followers, and readers to think you are all about appearances. The occasional mention of charitable or volunteer initiatives that you have taken or hosted especially in your local community setting is alright. This is a way to encourage your audience and followers to do their part and make their own contribution to their community. Not only does it encourage your followers to volunteer and do charitable acts within their community, it also builds trust.
Remember, it takes a lot of commitment to see results. Your followers won't become a trusting bunch overnight but, if you can establish and build on a mutually trusting relationship with your followers and audience you can increase the impact of your posts, you can get more followers, and your existing followers will more likely stay with you , and of course your chances of converting the followers into long term, loyal and paying customers.