Social media is different things to different people. Ask someone their opinion on this medium and responses will vary between love and life to hate and the end of civilisation.
If you are a social media lover (or even liker) the one thing that you know social media is about is relationships. Building them, maintaining them and evolving them. Forget there is a screen (and at times, an entire world between you and the other person) and you will find social media much easier to connect to.
Social media is about human interaction. If someone comments on a post or an update and you ignore it, this is the same and someone walking into a shop and the shop assistant ignore them and their reason for being there.
Looking beyond the physical and the digital, when you ask someone what they value in a relationship, many if not most will list ‘trust’ as a key factor. The relationships in social media are no different. If you don’t have trust, then you don’t have a relationship. If you don’t have a relationship, then you may as well build a website because that’s the connection you will get with your community.
The more trustworthy you and your business are online, the more likely your community is to
1 – talk about you
2 – tell their friends and networks about you
3 – buy from you
All of the above being the underlying aim of your social media strategy. Trust takes time to build. It is based on a variety of factors including past actions, intentions, connection and consistency.
In more tangible terms, a trustworthy brand is one who posts daily and provides the community with content that they like, connect with and in some cases, have asked for. This community is one who is given the opportunity to win and the prize is then given to the winning party (not ignored, never drawn and never spoken about). To be a trustworthy brand, your business must commit to customer service, to showcasing your product/ service in relations to the ‘what’s in it for me’ mentality of the digital community and put sales as a secondary aim to your social presence. Remember, the more trustworthy you are online, the more likely you are to build meaningful relationships with your community.
If you lack ability to build trust within your online audience, you must begin fixing this immediately. You must kick start your efforts to build trust with your community today so that you can create that relationship with them and begin to develop a community who can depend on you and love what you give them.
Have your say: How do you build trust with your community?