Social media is the new word of mouth, and brand trust is what measures how seriously consumers will take you. Trusted businesses usually serve as the leaders in smaller communities, but only after they prove their expertise. Consumers are more willing to trust companies that market in this way. They are more likely to share posts and spread branding messages, because they are more likely to know and talk to the people within that social circle anyway. So how does a business build brand trust using social media?
Encourage Reviews and User Generated Content
More than 80% of today’s consumers rank the opinions of their peers above any product advertisement. If your social media is full of user-generated content, you will attract a much more loyal audience than a thread that is full of direct advertisements and one-way media.
Encourage reviews, even negative ones. Not only does this lend transparency to your business, but it also gives you the advantage of finding your weaknesses.
When someone interacts with your brand, the quicker you are to respond the better off your brand will be. This goes for customer service comments, reviews, issues and general interactions on your social media posts.
The 80/20 Rule
80% of your content should provide value to your audience; leaving 20% of your content to feature a sales pitch. This ratio may seem tiny until you realize that modern consumers are trained to tune out advertisements completely. Unless you build trust as an expert, no amount of sales pitches will increase your conversions.
Create your content in a way that provides a truly pure opportunity for outreach. Once your prospects recognize you as an expert in the field, they will naturally look to you to solve their problems in that field.
Build a Following Through Interaction
More than anything, consumers are looking for interaction. This may seem counterintuitive as we move more deeply into the digital age, but we are a social species. The businesses with the best social media conversations will have better visibility and more conversions.
Think of your social media threads as you would the neighborhood bar – the more inviting the atmosphere, the more beer you are likely to sell, so it’s important to focus on the atmosphere instead of the beer.
94% of consumers stated that transparency in a business was essential in gaining their loyalty. But what exactly does “transparency” mean? It means that a company is willing to use social media to provide a “backstage pass” to the company. Savvy companies are using social media to bring attention to the people within the company. This helps to personalize the connection with the audience.
Today’s consumers are highly sensitive to how businesses interact with the outside community. These consumers are more likely to regularly give their business to a company that goes green and gives back. If your company embodies either of these characteristics, don’t hide it. Make it a prominent part of your social media outreach.
From your URL to your Facebook conversations, your primary goal on social media should be to build trust with your target audience. A proper branding strategy is essential here – your audience must know what to connect to after you have proven your value in the market.