According to an Irish proverb, ‘when mistrust comes in, love goes out.’ This seems to be a worthy reminder for anyone involved in social media but caring only about the number of likes received. The same goes for brand owners who want their products to be ‘lovable’ at all costs. But whenever one of those products is criticized by a client, they fail at offering any compensation. Sadly enough, many people use popular platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., to broaden their network without really weighing long-term consequences. It’s crucial to build trust on social media. Especially those who are trying to conduct business activities should be more mindful, though. Why? Because any account on those platforms is like the showcase of a company or individual. Most of the time, virtual profiles are the only ones through which people get to know you, your services, etc.
It’s definitely not easy to build trust on social media. It requires one to act diligently and sometimes with copious amounts of patience. This is where our article comes to the rescue. It is designed in a way that will help you see more clearly. You will collect some tips regarding content, consistency, interaction with your audience, and safety basics. You don’t even need to be a brand owner or campaigner. Our tips are likely to be applicable to anyone else who aims at establishing a durable and reliable online presence.
Care About Your Content
If you want others to care about your content, you should start by caring about it yourself. Have you ever run into some promotional posts that look misgenerated by some bot? (Yes, emphasis on misgenerated). You probably have. Don’t they remind you of some pale automatic copy-pastes of a few stereotypical materials picked here and there? Most of the time, one can’t even find any relevant information about the product or service in such pseudo-posts.
Social media is undoubtedly one of the best settings to spread various kinds of content. As of early summer 2021, the number of users (all platforms included) was estimated to be around 4,5 billion. Imagine the huge impact potential. This is also due to the fact that Internet access has become much easier and more mobile than before. People don’t even need to pay anything to access the basic functionalities of those platforms. However, popularization shouldn’t be a synonym for cheapness in terms of quality. So if you don’t treat your posts nicely, no one else will do it either. Social media trust always starts with finely crafted messages.
Take some time to design your posts, be it a simple photo or a three-word announcement. You don’t necessarily have to bathe all of them in sophisticated photoshop filters. It’s not about using a doctoral thesis level of language either. Just try to make it appealing, readable, and sincere. Display a confident yet friendly style. Show that you believe in what you are doing if you want to gain engagement from others.
Opt for Consistency Over Quantity
Consistency is another must-have, along with the good old ‘quality over quantity’ principle (already hinted at in the previous section). Sure, there may be some periods during which you will post more frequently. For example, Christmas and New Year holidays usually result in more activity on social media. Nevertheless, you should aim at keeping a more or less stable posting rate. If you share 300 things frenetically one day and then go radio silent for the rest of the month, people won’t understand. Worse, they will probably have a hard time trusting you. That would be indeed a scenario in which your availability and thus reliability become questionable. In such cases, your followers and/or prospects won’t want to lose their time. They will end up forgetting about you and start looking for more sustainable alternatives.
Here comes the unavoidable question, which is ‘how often should I post in order to build trust on social media?’ There’s no definitive answer here. The ideal posting frequency will depend on several variables. Your niche, goals, audience profile are the first ones coming to mind. The platform(s) that you are using will also help to determine your rate. For example, you can easily go for up to 5 tweets per day on Twitter. That same number would look excessive on another platform like Instagram, though. Why? Because Instagram posts are usually denser, meaning that they come with more details.
Regardless of the media type, try to post something once a day or at least every other day.
Stay Present and Available
As said earlier, availability will play an important role while implementing brand trust. You can’t just share some content and then vanish in the haze. Remember, you are trying to build brand awareness here. This is not something attainable only through a cool-looking logo and a bunch of fancy products. There has to be someone behind those, namely you. You have to stay present and receptive. Indeed, you will be receiving various questions regarding your posts and, thus, your brand. Some other times, people will also praise you or maybe even complain about your products. In any case, you should ‘hear’ them and interact accordingly.
Has someone complimented your latest product line? Show them your appreciation by at least leaving a ‘thank you’ note under their comment. Have you received some negative critic? Be mature enough to reply with a minimum of tact. And if the customer/follower happens to be right, have the courage to accept it. Try to see what kind of indemnity or solution you can offer. If the person is wrong or unfair (it happens too), be sure to engage in a constructive and civilized discussion.
At the end of the day, it’s a matter of follow-up regarding your brand. Furthermore, your social media page can directly act as a customer service line. If you don’t feel like taking charge of it, that’s alright. You can delegate the task to someone else and/or hire a social media manager. The most important point here is not to leave your account unattended.
Old fashioned but efficient bonus tip: Post some greetings on special days and holidays. There are still many people who are pleased with such little gestures.
Encourage Your Audience to Participate
So let’s see what else you need to build trust on social media. We have already mentioned the importance of interactivity. Any brand-building process requires some reciprocity. You can’t expect to create real brand awareness without ‘passing the mic to others’, so to speak. That would simply be contradictory with the definition of brand awareness, right?
Who are those others anyway? Prospects, clients, followers, and even competitors, to name only a few. In other words, those who are involved with your brand one way or another. Do you already have any ideas to make them participate in your branding journey? If not yet, here are a few options:
Time needed: 5 days.
Do you already have any ideas to make them participate in your branding journey? If not yet, here are a few options:
- Collect reviews.
You may be using rock-solid commercials. Perhaps you have even managed to appear on a big-time media brand (website, newspaper, television, etc.). But don’t forget that nothing can replace feedback coming from real, ‘ordinary’ people aka your customers. They are the ones who will usually have a day-to-day and authentic experience of your products. All you have to do is ask for their reviews. You can create a page or section dedicated to evaluations and testimonials.
- Allow user-generated content.
Say, if you are a coffee shop owner, you can ask your visitors to share photos and/or videos of your locale. The same goes for almost any other kind of product and service. Here again, material collected from your customers can add an extra touch of authenticity. Additionally, you can encourage them to share specific hashtags related to your brand campaigns.
- Use call-to-action (CTA).
Motivate people to respond immediately through giveaways, limited offers, downloadable material, rewards for subscription, etc.
Get Live, Stay Alive
Live events are one of the great tactics to build trust on social media. For instance, many Instagram accounts have increased their popularity since the release of the live video feature in 2016. Your turn to join the club now. Seize the opportunity to meet your followers in a more direct way. Offer them a warm and convivial ambiance. Be welcoming and receptive to their questions, suggestions, and critics. Maybe you can even brighten up the event with a mini-concert or some other unexpected surprises. Well-organized live events can do wonders for your engagement rate.
Provide a Safe Environment
- High-quality products – Done ✓
- High-quality posts – Done ✓
- High-quality public relationships – Done ✓
What’s next? Ensuring that your followers have a flawless experience whenever navigating your territory. To be more exact, it’s about being careful whenever you redirect people to any online material. So for example, if you incorporate links into your posts, make sure that they aren’t broken. You should also check your website as often as possible. Indeed, you wouldn’t like your visitors to land on an invalid or obsolete page, would you?
Phishing sites, website viruses, and defective URLs are common problems. There’s not a 100% definitive way to avoid them. However, you can do your best to keep them at bay. Keeping your website clean and up-to-date, controlling the links and CTAs added to your post on a regular basis will help. Be extra careful about partner sites. Your referrals should be at least as reliable as you.
We really suggest you not take this section lightly. This kind of negligence is capable of ruining all your other efforts.
FAQs about Building Trust on Social Media
Trust is a somewhat complicated and multi-layered notion. This is all the more true when it comes to social media. There are nevertheless some metrics that can help. Those can be related to conversion, engagement, level of awareness, customer attitude, among others. For example, CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) Score can give an idea about the level of fulfillment and thus potential trust.
Yes, you can. It’s not only related to your products but to your overall brand strategy.
There are different kinds of rates focusing on engagement levels. Applause Rate is one of them. It’s the sum of all approving actions (e.g., likes) divided by the total number of followers and then multiplied by 100. A more generic one is the Average Engagement Rate. This one is not based only on approvals but also on other actions that are not necessarily positive per se. Shares and retweets are good examples. To calculate this percentage, use the same method as for the Applause Rate. The only difference is that you have to include all kinds of actions.
Sure. When someone retweets you, it’s a sign that your brand is getting attention. It’s even better when done by a reliable source, of course.
Social Share of Voice (SSoV) indicates how often your brand appears in social media conversations. If the comments are positive, they can certainly help to improve your brand trust.
One Last Note on Social Media Trust
In this article, we have gathered and shared the main ways to build trust on social media. You have probably noticed that it’s, above all, something requiring self-respect. You need to believe in and be respectful toward your brand if you want others to do the same. Let’s even get a little Shakespearian here. To have a brand, or not, that is not the question. You should rather decide if you want to be your brand or not. When you really identify with it, this increases your chance to be more convincing. Caring about your audience, basic social media rules, and security measures are also among the top priority ingredients. It’s time for us to let you take command. We hope that your undertakings will come to fruition sooner than you expect.