Building trust in an untrusting world is essential – and can be very powerful. All successful relationships have trust at their very foundation, with countless examples echoing through the business world of this. Trust is also very important when thinking about your brand strategy, as where there is trust, there is loyalty.
Companies thrive off of loyalty, and according to a study by BIA/Kelsey and Manta, 52.1% of revenue comes from repeat business. So what does this mean about trust? It means that more than half of your customers have loyalty to you because they put faith and trust your brand.
As social media marketers, we understand the importance of using this channel to gain the trust of customers and build brand loyalty. In general, people desire to see what is new and what is hot. They crave originality. At the same time though, they want something that is familiar like a friendship that they can rely on. When people look into investing their money into a company, they want to make sure that they are going to be taken care of and that they are not going to be misled by marketing and advertising tactics.
With that said, it is important to provide the same customer service (care/experience) to our consumers that we would to our family. It is important to be transparent with your message and ideology and a way to do this would be to make sure you are not flooding consumers with a hard sell on every post.
It is our job to demonstrate why consumers can trust us. Here are four techniques you should be thinking about when implementing your social media strategy:
This is where we start.
What is originality though and why should we start here?
Originality, by definition according to the Cambridge Dictionary, means: “…the quality of being special and interesting and notthe same as anything or anyone else.” It is from originality, where we are able show authenticity and thus create trust within the market.
Sunny Bonnell from Motto said: “…as the co-founder of a branding agency that works with startups and global brands, I’m seeing far too many companies telling the exact same story, delivering the exact same message, in the exact same way.” What this means is that brands are not being original enough, so in turn that means that there is an opportunity to be original.
We show originality and authenticity through social media by the way we generate and create content, for example writing blog posts for not only your company’s website, but also for your social media channels. These blogs do not necessarily have to be brand new content, evergreen content is very valuable, but if you can create relevant, honest and original content, your brand will come across as authentic.
Also, make sure you market your brand in a way that is different from your competitors. We can look at Uber, Airbnb and Etsy for instance. It could be said that each of them has been modeled after another idea, but they each did something differently compared to their competitors. They first decided to “think like a customer.” This ability to think like a customer is where a lot of originality comes from because as marketers you have to be able to cater to the needs of a very specific audience who want to see something new and different.
Customer service is quite possibly the most important facet of a social media strategy. The two things to focus on to ensure that you provide the best service would be a fast response time and accurate answers that solve problems the first time.
Having a fast response is necessary because there is less patience and a general culture of wanting instant gratification. In a recent study posted by Altitude, it reported that “…over 80% of customers expect a company to respond within 24 hours after posting on social media.” This is not that big of a deal, but considering that “…3 in 5 social media users contact businesses through their mobile,” it is important to be proactive and respond as soon as possible.
While it is important to be fast, it is even more important to be accurate with your responses; if you give a fast response but it does not solve the issue at hand, then the customer will not be satisfied, which in turn could lead to even more messages.
These two actions, being fast and accurate, create a sense of reliability and trust between customers and the company who they are reaching out to. This creates the same trust that we have with our friends, because when we need help they are there for us. So when our customers are in need, we must be there for them.
John Hall posted an article on LinkedIn, and he said “…when you’re transparent, you invite trust by revealing that you have nothing to hide.”
What is so great about social media is that we have the opportunity on a daily basis to show our target audience who we are and why we do what we do. Most of us know the famous book by Simon Sinek called Start With Why. The key concept of the book is to learn how to present why you do what you do first instead of what you do.
Doing so will show a sense of honesty and transparency to our target audience, and if people can believe in our why, then they will trust what and how we do it.
When you are making posts on your platforms about your company and its products, ensure that you explain why you are doing what you do before you tell your audience what it is that you are doing.
The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule, according to Kathryn Royster from HouseLens, states that “…80% of your social media posts should inform, educate, and entertain your audience, while only 20% should directly promote your business.” This rule directly correlates with gaining trust from your audience.
As humans, we trust those who care about us and those who we care about. This is sense of trust comes from the hormone Oxytocin. Oxytocin does this because it suppresses “…the neural systems that regulate our fear of betrayal.” As social media marketers, we should personalise our accounts to show that we care about our customers and that they can trust us.
We want to be able to invite our followers to reach out publicly or privately to assist in solving their troubles and answer any questions or concerns that they may have.
When we see a company who continually pushes their own product, this conveys a message that all they care about is the next sale. To avoid this kind of message, post only 2-4 posts a week about your product or service, but then include 8-12 posts a week that include blog posts, case studies, research articles, and lastly make sure you post some fun memes every now and again.
The key is to make sure that you are conveying the message that anyone and everyone should feel like a valued person, not just a customer. As most business people know, if you cannot get the client to trust you, you will not be able to get them to buy from you. So if you want to gain their trust, be original, provide the best service possible, be honest, and do not shove your product in their face every chance you get.