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10/04/2019

How to build trust in your brand through social media


Have you stopped to think about your social media strategy? According to a recent study by Hootsuite, generating transparent, quality content for your social media channels which maximises engagement is becoming the focus for many brands, rather than simply maximising reach. The trend has arisen because of recent major data breaches causing loss of trust in social media providers. As a result, building trust with audience-specific, contextual messaging has become vital for businesses to maintain long-term brand loyalty through social media.  But what does this mean for your business?

Social media trends study

The social media management platform, Hootsuite, has recently published a study which highlights the social media trends expected over the rest of 2019. The data was gleaned from 3,255 Hootsuite customers during Q3 of 2018. The companies examined ranged in size from huge enterprises to small- and medium-sized businesses, with examples of their experiences and strategies presented by Hootsuite to illustrate its conclusions.

Social media tactics for trust building

One of the points Hootsuite covered was the effect events of 2018 had on consumer trust in social media platforms – such as the Facebook Analytica Scandal and Twitter’s purging of millions of fake accounts – and how brands were working to deal with the challenges these posed to establish a trustworthy voice.  

One of the most important messages to take from the study is that consumers of social media don’t want to be treated as demographics, they want to be seen as individuals. This means brands must deliver a personal approach in their digital marketing strategies to generate consistent, long-term brand loyalty.

What it means for your digital marketing strategy: You need to give your audience more value in return for their attention on social media and make their content more personable and relatable to their individuality to establish trust with them.

Engaging micro-communities for a more personal approach

Enlisting the services of so-called influencers has become an effective and essential tool for big brands to remain relevant and promote their products. However, the elite tier of influencers who have garnered millions of followers in relatively short periods of time have a less personal and genuine interaction with their followers than that of so-called micro-influencers; the reach of the elites over social media may be huge, but their posts are less personal and relatable.

In response to this, Adidas have decided to take a ‘grassroots’ approach to their influencer recruitment strategy, building teams of micro-influencers to connect with their customers at a more granular level, spreading trusted influence into niche communities to build a more authentic and genuine connection with their followers.

What it means for your digital marketing strategy: If you’re a small business owner and are looking to expand your reach over social networks, partnering with micro-influencers who operate in your niche could be a great way to make that next step forward. Recruiting multiple influencers into your affiliate programme or as brand ambassadors could be an excellent way to grow your business, not only by expanding your reach but also by improving engagement and trust with your brand by spreading word through niche, relevant communities.

Demonstrating technical expertise through social media

If your company offers a service which relies upon the skills of your employees, one of the best ways to establish trust in your brand is to demonstrate your expertise to the masses; people are more likely to trust a brand that can prove they are worth their salt. In the past this may have been difficult to achieve, but social media has changed the dynamic. The British Museum present an excellent case study for this, inviting in-house experts to take part in social media stories, live streams and posts, to give in-depth information about their collections and exhibits.

What it means for your digital marketing strategy: This is particularly useful for small- and medium-sized businesses which provide a service to their customers. Getting staff members involved with social media and giving your employees a face for customers to relate to could be the difference between prospects going to a competitor and coming to you. You could run live video Q&A sessions, post short videos explaining concepts or summarise your blog content; it all goes to making the service more personal, more relatable and more trustworthy.

Building a trusted voice on social media

There are some really simple and easy ways that take a small amount of time but can go a long way to building your brand voice and authority on social media to become recognised in your industry by consumers and professionals. The first step is to define your social media image of how you want your brand to come across to social media users. From then on work to deliver that to users consistently. Once your image is defined, there are plenty of ways to spread the word and build trust across the various social media platforms.

  • Participate in group-chats – for example on LinkedIn or Twitter you could take part in public discussions on topics surrounding your industry, give advice, offer solutions or just converse – it all goes into a personal, inclusive touch that social media users can relate to.
  • Encourage participation on your Facebook group – encourage customers to share their experiences with your brand, have them explain what your product/service has allowed them to achieve, accomplish or how it has added value to their life in general. Of course, their reviews may not always be positive, so you need to have considered beforehand how you handle criticism to maintain optimal integrity with your customers – and make sure you respond to any comment (especially the negative) quickly.
  • Engage with relevant influencers – This doesn’t have to mean paying for their services, advertisement or recruitment; this could simply mean commenting on their posts and interacting with others through comments to gain a voice.
  • Encourage employee interaction – use your employees to help spread the word across social media that your brand is amazing and trustworthy. Have them write testimonials to share on social media or create employee social media accounts to interact with customers (it’s a good idea to have a robust social media policy in place and run effective staff training before letting them loose to make sure they uphold your brand values at all times).

Utilising your social media channels and giving your brand a human voice can be excellent ways to boost your brand image and appear more trustworthy to potential customers and others who operate in your industry. Following our simple techniques could make a huge difference to your brand perception and help boost your engagement across social media channels.

To find out more about how Sharp Minds Communications can help with your marketing, email communications@sharpminds.agency 

 Based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Sharp Minds offers brand development, digital marketing, offline marketing and public relations to businesses across Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Greater London. You can see what our customers say about us here.

 

 

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