Building Trust through Consistency on Social Media
Since the beginning of time, trust has been one of the critical elements of any good relationship or friendship. Thus, it is essential to understand how to meet these requirements with your brand and company so you can attract the people you want to work with in your business.
Consider how your business fits into these five areas related to building trust with others:
1. Assured Reliance
Can you be counted on consistently?
Does your mental/moral quality exhibit trustworthiness?
Have you shown that you are capable and competent?
Do you exemplify authority and expertise?
Do you exhibit transparent and honest qualities?
Are you someone that has proven to promote confidence from others due to your actions that show your ability to follow through with commitments?
By analyzing the essential components of trust, you can ensure that you build a brand and company that fits the criteria.
How Can I Trust You?
Imagine meeting someone new and building a friendship with them. You feel a great connection and enjoy talking. Yet every time you try to plan a date, this person cancels at the last minute. After a while, you realize that you can't depend on this person to commit to anything. Therefore, you can't ever truly trust them.
When it comes to marketing, we don’t often get more than one chance to prove our character to prospects, so using social media to build trust can be a powerful strategy.
Remember: Trust is not given away but earned. Therefore, every move you make must pull people closer to trusting you.
Statistically, it takes two years for customers to truly trust a brand and five years to spend more money on that brand than competitors. (Entrepreneur.com)
With this kind of timetable, you must be sure you are always building your brand in a way that earns trust and never sabotages it. After all, we all know how hard it is to rebuild trust after it is broken!
The Relation between Consistency and Trust
Now that we have examined trust, we can see how consistency relates to it. Since trust is earned over time by being reliable, honest, and present, consistency is how we nurture trust in our company from customers.
So, how can you show up consistently as a brand?
Regularly share information and useful content within your industry
Respond to customers in a timely, professional fashion
Have a strategic schedule for creating compelling posts on social media
Ensure that your brand's ideology, voice, and presence are consistent and clear
Stay true to your brand principles and ethical values
Altogether, these actions can help improve your company's consistency on social media and promote your brand's trust.
Understanding your Audience on Social Media
Social media is an excellent asset for bolstering your company's visibility, marketability, and trustworthiness. Thus, it's essential to keep in mind where your target demographic spends their time online and how they communicate with companies.
According to entrepreneur.com:
Younger Millennials (18-27) look at twitter feeds and online communities the most.
Older Millennials (28-36) usually check Facebook to look at brands’ online presence.
"Gen X" (37-49) typically communicates in online chats.
"Boomers" (50-68) generally like to use customer helplines.
Evaluating demographic information can help you tailor your message to fit the appropriate audience and provide avenues that will encourage communication with your ideal clients.
The Main Ways to Build Trust on Social Media
Besides exemplifying the qualities of trust in your brand, you must also know how to utilize social media to showcase your services appropriately. It's more than just publishing consistent posts and creating an aesthetically pleasing profile or website.
Here are the main ways to build trust on social media while remaining consistent:
1. Emphasize Expertise
Your posts’ content should be high-quality, informative, and help demonstrate your authority in the industry. Be sure to stay knowledgeable about current information relating to your field. Always provide trustworthy links whenever you want to give followers more information on topics from other sources.
2. Be Insightful and Encouraging
Besides highlighting your company's strengths, it's also important to share other companies' achievements that you admire. Not every post has to be all about your brand! Showing a genuine interest in helping customers, followers, and prospects discover useful information establishes trust and reliability. If you care about providing helpful content and advice to customers, it is crucial that you also give props to others.
3. Go Past Self-Promotion
Just like #2 states that it is important to support others in the industry, it's also necessary to follow the 80/20 rule with content. 80 percent of the content you post should be useful, informative, and non-promotional, while 20 percent can be devoted to self-promotion. Too much self-promotion can be overbearing and pushy in the public's eyes.
4. Be Authentic
Tell the truth about your products and services. That includes addressing your shortcomings as a company, even if it’s difficult. Transparency opens the door to discuss ways to improve the company's policies, services, or products, while showing followers that you have nothing to hide.
Social media is about interacting with your prospects and customers. Always respond to customer comments, whether they are positive or negative. Engaging regularly shows that you are open to criticism and willing to address it. Another way to promote social media interaction is through the use of polls and surveys. When you ask questions relevant to your industry, you can spark a conversation, provide insight into the general public's view, and improve your online community's rapport.
Share user-generated content to provide social proof of how regular people promote your brand. Showcasing evidence that others advocate for your brand will boost other people's belief in your product and services.
Request that customers provide reviews of your company. Just make sure you respond to these reviews to show that you earnestly care about your clients and value their opinions!
6. Share Social Values
Are there specific moral/ethical protocols that you follow within your company? Share these views to humanize your brand and reveal that your purpose is beyond financial gain. Is there a specific reason you started this company? Are there particular charities or movements that you support?
The answers to these questions will help others see you as more than just another company pressing for more people to make purchases. Rather, you’ll be seen as a brand that is invested in the wellbeing of their clients.
The Importance of Building Trust through Consistency
Ultimately, understanding the role that consistency plays in developing trust for your brand on Social Media will help your business flourish exponentially. The only way to earn the trust of prospects and customers is to be consistent.
If you exemplify reliability, honesty, transparency, and competence in your industry with a constant social presence, consumers are more likely to believe that you are trustworthy and will show up for them when they need it.
Make sure to use your key selling points to format your posts in a way that will enhance trust and consistently stay on schedule with content posting.
Trust is something that you earn.
Trust takes time.
Consistency is an action that solidifies consumer trust.
Be present on social media by setting up a schedule and sticking to it.
Social proof from previous customers that that demonstrate you are reliable and competent is better than self-promotion.
Use topic-related hashtags to stay connected to your customer base and prospects that will be interested in your services.
Don't overdo self-promotion. Most content you post should be useful, informative, and non-promotional. (You can still slip in links to your website and provide information on how your company can resolve their problems, but don't make this the focal point of every post.)
Adhere to the principles of trust with your business practices.
Ensure you interact online through comments, review responses, and share support for others in the industry.
Participate in conversations with the online community.
Be transparent when it comes to your successes and failures.
Stick to your posting schedule. Make sure to follow the 80/20 rule.
Don't delete negative comments, but respond to them, address the issue, and formulate ways to improve.
Overall the basis of trust, according to Merriam Webster, is the "assured reliance on the character, strength, ability, or truth of someone or something. One in which confidence is placed." Make sure that your company embodies these qualities.