In the social sphere, if you do not have trust, you do not have anything. You can have all your logos in the right place, all your design elements aligned and all your social media “techniques” in place and you still will not get the kind of following and sharing that you really need to promote your brand.
To succeed in the social sphere, you need to get people to trust you. Trust is what makes people feel safe about giving you their credit cards. It is what makes people feel safe referring their friends to you.
So how do you establish social media trust? Here are 10 tips to help.
1. Use Graphical Trust Builders
Use a few select graphics that help build your social media trustworthiness.
Some of the best graphics are media appearances, like radio or TV logos. If you have been on ABC news for example, put an “As Seen on ABC News” logo on your page.
Other examples of graphical trust factors include before and after photos, as well as testimonials with a person’s picture next to it.
2. Increase Social Proof
Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to do business with you if they know others are also doing the same. They are more likely to like you if many other people have already liked you.
You can boost your social proof by getting as many likes as possible, as many comments as possible and as much user visible engagement as possible.
3. Build Strong Real Life Relationships
Real life relationships are the lifeblood of your social media. It might seem counter intuitive that your online contacts are dependent on your offline contacts. However, it is true.
Even among a follower base of 100,000, you will have a core group of just a few hundred people who are true cheerleaders and champions for your brand. Among those people, you will find that many of them are people you know in real life, or are people who know people you know in real life.
Strong in person relationships builds the backbone of any online community. Do not neglect them just because you went “Web 2.0.”
4. Be Consistent With Your Online & Offline Message
Do not use the internet as an excuse to veer from your message, your values or your business practices.
Your social message should match your offline message. Your branding should be the same and the way you treat your customers should be the same. Otherwise, you are sending mixed signals and endangering your brand.
5. Be What You Preach
If you are an SEO expert, you should be highly ranked. If you are a graphic designer, you should have a well-designed website and Facebook Page
You should be what you preach, both online and offline. Social media users are very wary of people who say one thing then do another. Make sure your image is consistent with what you advocate and want to be known for.
6. Remember They Are Real People
It is easy to look at your Facebook page and objectively evaluate how many “Likes” you got. It is easy to feel giddy about the number of Twitter followers you have. It is easy to feel happy or depressed about your site’s traffic numbers.
Marketers often forget that each one of these numbers represents a real person, with a real problem that you may have a real solution to. Remembering that each of these numbers is a real number will help you improve your message, your connection with your audience and ultimately your entire network strategy.
7. Invite Users to Talk to Each Other
Social media should not be just about you sharing what you want to share. It should also be about users sharing things with you and with each other.
Encourage users to talk to one another. You can do so by asking provocative questions, by using polls and by hosting contests.
8. Center around the Customer, Not the Brand
Your status updates and tweets should not be about your company’s latest goals, your last stock valuation or your newest product launch. Instead, they should focus on your customer
9. Tweet – And Tweet Things That Matter
You might be restrained to just 140 characters on Twitter, but that does not mean you cannot still deliver incredible value.
Use Twitter – Many businesses miss a powerful social network. In addition, do not just tweet the frivolous. Instead, take full advantage of the network and share things that really matter.
10. Help Solve Their Problems
At the end of the day, people pay attention and people pay money because they want their problems solved. If you can provide information, tips or even products that help people get what they want, you are more likely to get followers and shares.