3 Ways to Build Trust on Social Media
3 Ways to Build Trust on Social Media
Every business wants a social media following of loyal customers. When you have a loyal following, you have an engaged audience; and when you have an engaged audience, you have a community that is often just as excited as you are about your services or products. This excited following is worth its weight in gold because it often leads to sales. But how do we build that kind of engagement and loyalty?
Sure we all know after many hours, days, and perhaps months of research that we need high-quality images on our pages, and the right hashtags, and easily accessible websites from our social pages, and, and, AND… but there’s more to it than that.
Not only do people need to be interested in WHAT we’re selling, they also need to feel connected to WHO we are as a brand, as a company, at least on a surface level. They need to see they can depend on your brand. First and foremost, trust needs to be steadily built.
So how do we do that?
Here are three ways that seem obvious but are often overlooked and underused.
ENGAGE with your audience on social media
Especially if you’re a smaller business, engaging with your followers is vital. This seems like an obvious one, but it often goes overlooked. A lot of people have a “set it and forget it” mentality when it comes to business pages on social media. They post the high-quality image then leave their comments sections bare and unanswered and wonder why no one is reacting to it or rushing out to buy their wares.
After all, you’re busy. You’re tired. You put in a long day building your business and now you just want to binge Shameless on Netflix.
Answer those questions, though! Respond to every comment! Especially if you don’t have that many. As soon as you get them, wherever possible. It will boost your integrity in the eyes of your potential customers. More than that, on the technical side of things, it will boost your algorithm. The algorithms will show that this is a hot post and make it increasingly more visible to your audience the more engagement it has. And the cycle continues, which only looks better for you. So, in addition to responding to comments, don’t be afraid to post thought-provoking topics or questions in your Instagram descriptions to get your audience revved up. More on that later! (Don’t have time? Great Scott has you covered!)
But engagement doesn’t stop there. Engage with other pages. Pages like yours and not like yours… anyone who could be interested in yours. Is someone random popping up on your page to engage with your content, but they’re not following you yet? That’s okay! They took the time to pay your page a visit and interact with it, which as we said before, is only good for you. Pay it forward! Visit their page and find a piece of their content that speaks to you. Leave a genuine, thoughtful comment in return. Let them know you see them, and they will be more likely to see you as their next go-to business for whatever their niche needs may be.
Seek out potential clients and collaborators through relevant hashtags, and then interact with their pages. Again, find a piece or three of their content that speaks to you and engage with it. Don’t try to sell them anything. Just try to connect with them. Building relationships is more important and effective than simply shoving your services down their throats.
COLLABORATE on your social media pages
Building on our previous point, engagement can sometimes come in the form of collaboration, which is mutually beneficial. It not only helps other businesses out but also casts a wider net of potential clientele and followers for you. Collaborate with other businesses or influencers symbiotic to what you yourself are doing. Maybe you’re a local author in communication with your town library. It might be time to arrange a speaking event. But it doesn’t stop there. Collaboration is an opportunity to cross-promote across platforms.
Tag those you’ve collaborated with at every opportunity. In photos. In videos. In anything you are doing together. And encourage them to do the same. It seems counterintuitive, if you tag them, people will go and visit them instead. Well yes, to a degree. But they will see either the same images posted on your collaborator’s page or new ones showcasing your name and your work which will reinforce your brand as a recognized and trusted provider of the resources they need. Brands are more than just what they can DO for a client/customer. They are also a FEELING, and almost everyone wants to support a brand that cares about more than just themselves. We trust brands that are willing to share the spotlight and be about something larger than themselves and understand that no one person is an island.
CARE ABOUT THINGS AND MAKE IT KNOWN on your social media
We’re not necessarily saying to get political here, but it can be immensely helpful to reveal that you care about certain world-changing topics that align with your audience’s interests, especially if they are already in line with your niche market. For example: Let’s say that you are a makeup artist that wants to stand out from the market. One way to do that might be to align moral values with that of your consumers. If you are strongly opposed to animal testing in your cosmetics—as are many consumers of both products and services—you could market yourself as a cruelty-free makeup artist who only uses cruelty-free and vegan products on their clientele. You could put this in your profile descriptions and details. Another way could be to post wholesome pictures of why you only use cruelty-free brands (and don’t forget to use relevant and related hashtags!). Your target demographic will appreciate this and consider you for their next event. They might share your image if they agree strongly enough reaching a whole new audience.
Possible pitfall: keep your content overall positive in nature! Not everything needs to be rainbows and kittens, but your audience will more than likely appreciate that you are not focusing on the drama which could alienate and inadvertently insult those who may otherwise be neutral to your message. You want to inspire positive change and draw your niche to you, not start a political war.
Possible pitfall #2: Not all spirited debate is bad for your page either, keep in mind that engagement is still engagement. Just remember to handle yourself and your business platform professionally. Shying away from caring about anything your audience cares about can backfire just as much as being too political. In a world that increasingly wants to know who and what kind of business they’re supporting, daring to care can give you an edge as well as something to talk about and engage with your audience.
By caring about something publicly and finding ways to make it accessible to the public to jump on the bandwagon, you are not only making a positive impact in your community but also generating traffic to your pages.
- Engage with your audience, and don’t be afraid to seek one out.
- Collaborate with like-minded individuals that you can forge symbiotic relationships with and mutually grow your businesses. Cross-promote at every opportunity.
- Care about something in your community and make it known so your audience will participate and feel a stronger sense of interaction and loyalty to your brand.