Why do you trust the brands that you trust? If you’re like me, you built most of your trust in brands long before social media marketing came by. You gained it through commercials, experiences, and perhaps most importantly, word of mouth from friends and family.
The point of modern social media marketing tactics is to be a new form of word of mouth. When you log into your Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, or anywhere else you practice social media marketing, the idea that you’re looking to promote online word of mouth discussion is important.
Building Trust in a Social Media Marketing Context
I grew up loving Chevrolet cars. The Camaro, Corvette, Nova, Impala, Bel Air, these were cars of legend to me. They had a story. They had cool. They had these because they had incredible word of mouth. People who loved them, loved talking about them. This built a story, a cool factor.
Your social media marketing pages are where you are going to create spaces to allow people to have these conversations. They’re going to make these connections with one another. They’ll discuss their love of your products, the weaknesses, and their own personal experiences.
Above all, your social media marketing venues should be places where conversations are nurtured, encouraged, poked, and started. These conversations must flow like natural ones will.
For example, and to stay on cars, there were numerous occasions where my Chevy brain would meet a Ford head. I would extoll the virtues of my beloved bowtie. The other guy would then rattle on about some irrelevant aspect of the blue oval. This will happen on your social media marketing accounts. Let it.
Own up to weaknesses in your company, and the strengths of your competitors
There are going to be times when your fans will call you out on one of your social media marketing platforms. What they’re doing here is giving you the opportunity to correct the issue. They’re not walking away. They’re not complaining quietly to friends. They’re showing you that they care about your company, and that they want you to fix it so you’re both happy.
As this post on handling negative Twitter comments shows, social media just may be the greatest
opportunity in corrective marketing that there is. If you really want to impress someone, and build trust quickly, own up to your weaknesses before people notice them.
Car recalls are a perfect real world example. An error in the car’s design has been found, some have noted it, while others are clueless. Admitting the fault and correcting it helps build trust “Hey, Chevy cares about me because they’re doing a recall. I appreciation them not letting me die in a horrible, fiery car crash.”
As for admitting to the strengths of your competitors, don’t think of it as admitting defeat in some aspect of your product. Look at it as a way to highlight your strengths.
For a car analogy, say Chevy admits to having a car with poor top speed and praises the high end of a Ford. While doing this they also admit to the poorer 0-60 performance of the Ford, while theirs is superior in this aspect.
These are the facts that engage an audience to discuss the merits of either feature. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had a…lively…discussion with a car guy about the particular merits of a car I loved, versus the car he loved.
Let people see the social side of social media marketing
Your fans are always going to trust a person over a corporation. I first loved Chevrolet because I loved racing and Dale Earnhardt. He drove a Chevy, spoke honestly about the car, and I felt that.
Your social media marketing team needs to have that honesty, the human side, when they speak with your fans. For an example, look at this Twitter followers guide under the sub-heading “How do you talk to people on Twitter?”
The very first point made is that “Twitter is not where you go to send out endless pieces of bland advertising.” It is where you go to speak with the people who make up your fanbase, not your target market, not your demographic, not your share of the market – the people of your fanbase. Have some fun:
— Delta (@Delta) December 23, 2014
Show people what you do for the community
If your business invests in the community around it, large or small, bring it up. A lot of the time, you’ll not only be building trust in your company, but you’ll also be giving free advertising to the causes you are helping.
These types of posts can generate more discussion, and shares, than the actual products and services of your company. If you’re a small company that only sponsors a local baseball team, great. Talk about their wins, loses, home runs, and get people interested in the fact that you’re not just a big corporation that turns out profits. Let them know that you’re a caring part of the community.
Social Media Marketing is all about trust
If you’re not working to build trust in your company while doing social media marketing, and instead are just trying the same old marketing tactics that you’ve used for years, you’re wasting your time and your fan’s time.
The true value in social media is in creating content which leads to online word of mouth. You can get a boost from our Twitter followers service, but ultimately you’ll need to start acting in a way which begins building trust through the points listed above.
Take a look at how Blendtec builds trust in their product…they have a unique way that’s perfect for social media:
Feature image via Pressmaster / Shutterstock