Social Media Marketing! What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term? A platform where brands can promote their products, services, and content, right? Not exactly!
Social media is more than just a platform used for sales and brand awareness purposes. It is a two-way street for communication, meaning it is a platform in which brands can engage customers and prospects through meaningful discussions and consumers can reach out to brands for questions, answers, and clarity. These types of interactions are important because they help build meaningful relationships and trust and form a community around your brand.
So how exactly does this work? What ingredients do brands need to build deeper relationships with consumers and to earn their trust? Our Digital Marketing online course instructors share 5 tips for using social media to build consumer trusts in brands like you:
The Key Components of Trust on Social Media
The consumer trust formula for success must include these 3 elements:
Consumers are known to trust experts and influencers in a specific industry or on a specific topic. Therefore it is of the utmost importance for you, as a brand, to create and share content that shapes you in this light. To become an authority in your industry, you will need to keep up with the latest trends, news and research as they relate to your business. By this we do not mean to just regurgitate news that can be found on hundreds of other blogs and websites. To maintain authority, you will be required to add unique insight and research (e.g., studies).
One of the rules of establishing great business relationships and creating consumer trust is to go above and beyond what is required of you and really wow them. Consumers are more likely to trust brands that are helpful, meaning they answer questions with detail, they make useful recommendations, and their comments are appropriate and professional. Not only does an exceptional experience create enjoyment, it opens up the likelihood of referrals as well as fans.
When your commitment to your customers is genuine, consumers know it. You might wonder if creating a great experience requires a sale. Not always! Think about all of the groundwork that needs to be created before the thought of purchasing even crosses your mind.
Making personal connections with consumers is the third and last element in the formula for creating trust on social media. Intimacy involves engaging with consumers and fans and showing them your brand personality. Your company and brand is not just a business; it is run by humans who are consumers themselves and know the painpoints that other consumers go through. Making yourself a “company” that’s tweeting or posting on Facebook will not build the level of intimacy you need to be successful.
5 Tips for Building Brand Trust on Social Media
Our winning strategies to help you build trust with consumers on social media:
1. Join Social Media Chats and Groups
This is one strategy that you can start doing right now! In the next week or so, find and join conversations about your industry on various social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn) and start offering unique insights. Share your opinions and provide helpful articles that were written by you. To find conversations to join, monitor keywords and hashtags as well as discussions, such as those occurring in LinkedIn groups and on Twitter. Having trouble? Google Analytics and Good Trends are two good places to start. These tools will offer insight into the keyword searches people are performing in real time.
2. Monitor Mentions and Offer Support
In order to respond to consumers who share your articles or mention you on their social media channels, you need to actively monitor your social media platforms for mentions. The name of your company, products, services, and URLs should be monitored too. Over 30 percent of tweets do not include a Twitter handle when mentioning a company and over 40% of Facebook shares do not include company name tags. Tools like Sprout Social, Mention, and Hootsuite are excellent tools for monitoring all of the different variations we just mentioned.
3. Be Transparent
In today’s ultra competitive markets, customers care is about more than the end product. Consumers want to know where the products are made, who made them, what the work conditions were, how long they took from start to finish, and what the carbon footprint of each item is etc. Social media channels, including the visual ones like Instagram, provide brands with the perfect means to spread their values and mission statement and answer customer queries — both pre-emptively and after being posed. It also affords them with an opportunity to air their message(s) through authentic and deliberate narratives.
4. Have Fun!
We all want to laugh and have a good time on social media. Who does not enjoy a good all-jokes video every now and again? People want to be entertained, instead of having brands try to push their promotions and sales pitches down their throats. Finding ways to create enjoyable social content — whether it is a funny photo related to your brand, trivia fact, life hack quote, or mind blowing video — can help you build a trusting relationship with your followers. That’s something you can do, no matter your company
5. Admit When a Mistake is Made and Apologize
All of us error at one point in life—it is part of being life-long learners. The only people who do not error are the ones who never innovate or take risks. As a leader it is also a mistake to think that you need to have all the right answers right there and then. Admitting and correcting mistakes does not make you look less authoritiative; it actually makes you look stronger. When you admit mistakes, you help establish a culture of open communication and a willingness to improve by demonstrating an attitude of a Growth Mindset.
It takes decades to build trust — and less than a minute to destroy it. Therefore, every word or graphic posted on your social media page should adhere to certain standards set by you. It does not mean that you should be afraid of making mistakes. It simply implies that being original and sincere towards your customers is the best way to building trust with your consumers.
Remember: You cannot buy trust. However, you can definitely sell a reliable brand at a good price.
DMAC | Customized Social Media Marketing Training
The Digital Marketing Academy of Canada offers online courses for current or aspiring professionals in the Digital Marketing field. Take our online Digital Marketing Fundamentals or Social Media Marketing Course and become certified. Visit our website and get in touch with us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your Digital Marketing education further.