Is having an online presence enough? Not anymore: in addition to high online visibility, your business needs one more factor that can make or break a brand: trust.
As customers become better and better informed, trust in a brand can be a major factor of whether they choose you for their business. Building trust isn’t an overnight effort, and it takes time, creativity, and energy to create, but once you’ve gained your customers’ trust, they’re much more likely to stay loyal to your brand and even advocate on your behalf.
Strategically using social media to build trust is one of the most effective ways to achieve it.
Everyone is on social media, and if you create and share great content while actively engaging with your audience, this can be an excellent way to build trust.
Here is how.
For most brands and business, it’s just too tempting to resist posting salesy ads often.
However, keep in mind that according to industry insiders, only 20% of your content on social media should be directly linked to sales. 80% of the content should be valuable or meaningful to your customers: regardless of what you do, share valuable information, tips, advice, entertaining content, or stories to offer your audience something they can use, appreciate, and connect with.
The more valuable your content, the more likely your audience is to stick around – and trust you.
Okay, we’re not exactly sure whether that’s an actual word, but creating content that is shareable can boost your trust-building efforts like nothing else.
The more people share your content, the more reliable and trustworthy your brand appears as you have other people advocating for you without you lifting a finger or paying for ads. And if one of your posts goes viral, well – you’ve just hit the jackpot.
Behind the Scenes
Showing your audience snippets of what happens behind the scenes in your business can be a fantastic way to increase trust in your brand.
Let them take a peek into your studio, factory floor, or office; share bloopers, reveal your recipes, share your photography tips, and give your audience a virtual tour of what you do (and how you do it).
Behind-the-scenes sneak peeks create a feeling of transparency, and it’s a fantastic tool when you’re building trust with social media.
Speaking of transparency: honesty is always the best policy, so if you made a mistake, fess up on social.
Sharing your struggles, bloopers, and mishaps openly tells people you’re not afraid to make mistakes and own up to them, and they will appreciate transparency all the more – especially as we live in an Instaworld of perceived perfection.
Social media is all about…being social.
Don’t just dump your content and expect people to consume it; engage with your audience as much as you can and as often as you can to show them you care, value their opinions, and respond to their concerns.
Engaging on social media is like a customer service frontline: the more you talk to people, the more they’ll trust your brand.
User-generated content and reposting is another great tool of building trust.
If you’ve spotted a post or a tweet by a customer talking about your product or service, re-share it: the author of the post will be delighted you’ve noticed, and your audience will see just how much you care about their experiences.
Alternatively, you can reach out to your customers and ask to share some of their posts: for example, if you’re a travel agent, ask your recent customer if you could re-share images of their holiday in Italy. That way, you get two birds with one stone: your customer will be thrilled you’re re-sharing your content, and the re-shared content will become a token of validation of that Italian holiday you’re offering.
This can be done with just about any brand or business selling any product or service – sharing the content of your customers enjoying your work is a great way to build trust, and the process can be repeated over and over again.
Are you struggling to build trust on social media? Share your experiences in the comments below!