How to build brand trust on social media

Text how to build brand trust on social media beside couple holding hands on skyscraper edge

 

To capture the new generation of consumers, businesses need to build brand trust. Social media is the new word of mouth, and brand trust is what measures how seriously Millennials and Generation Z will take you.

According to Havas Media, there is plenty of room in the trust market – only 22% of brands have the trust of their prospects.

via Giphy

Women, the major buyers in every household, are especially attuned to authenticity as a buying prerequisite. Over 60% of women demand that a brand feel “genuine” before they will even consider interacting with sponsored content from that company.

Consumers are also more trusting of small communities – this is why direct sales and mass marketing are going the way of the dodo bird.

Trusted service providers usually serve as the leaders of these communities, but only after they prove their expertise in the community niche. Consumers are more willing to trust companies that market in this way. They are more likely to share posts and spread branding messages, because they are more likely to know and talk to the people within that social circle anyway. So how does a business build brand trust using social media?

Build a Following Through Interaction

More than anything, prospects are looking for interaction. This may seem counterintuitive as we move more deeply into the seemingly isolated digital age, but at our core, we are a social species. The businesses with the best social media conversations will invariably have better visibility and more conversions.

In Australia, 63% of consumers surveyed say they are more likely to trust a brand that creates a conversation on social media. 59% put an emphasis on content that is consistent, and 44% of people say that the authenticity of this conversation is far more important than the total number of people who are in it.

Think of your social media threads as you would the neighborhood bar – the more inviting the atmosphere, the more beer you are likely to sell, so it’s important to focus on the atmosphere instead of the beer.

Encouraging Reviews and User Generated Content

More than 80% of today’s consumers rank the opinions of their peers above any product advertisement. If your social media is full of user-generated content, you will attract a much more loyal audience than a thread that is full of direct advertisements and one-way media.

Encourage reviews, even negative ones. Not only does this lend transparency to your business, but it also gives you the advantage of finding your weaknesses.

Even more importantly, your users are bound to generate extra keywords for your pages in their content. This means that every user review helps your pages build trust within the major search engines and the internal search engines of your social media platforms. Trust equals higher visibility, which usually translates into higher conversions.

Responding Quickly to Customer Service Requests

As you are vying for a higher percentage of user-generated content, you should be combing that content for opportunities to improve your business. Unhappy customers are sometimes the best opportunities!

One of the best online marketing tactics is to lurk around the social media threads of your competitors looking for unanswered customer service queries. Once you find a trend, your next commercial or outreach package can address this problem which your competitor refused to acknowledge. Keep in mind that your competitors may already employ this tactic on you. What is the lesson? Fix your customer service requests before your competitors get the chance to!

The 80/20 Rule and Content Curation

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your content should provide value to your audience. This leaves just 20% of your content that can feature a direct sales pitch. This ratio may seem tiny until you realize that modern consumers are trained to tune out advertisements completely. Unless you build trust as an expert, no amount of direct sales pitches will increase your conversions.

Curate your content in a way that provides a truly pure opportunity for outreach. Once your prospects recognize you as an expert in the field, they will naturally look to you to solve their problems in that field.

Think about your own behavior as a consumer and as a human being. Are you more likely to befriend the person who is constantly nagging you to be a friend? No – you are more likely to respond to the person who simply makes you laugh or teaches you something every time you hang out with them.

Proper content curation may be a slower process, but it is the only process that works with the modern consumer. They simply have too many choices to respond to any sort of begging tactic.

Make your posts clickable

We’ve already covered the benefits of good content curation, but the way in which you lead people to that content is important too. If your followers have had a bad experience clicking on your content, they’ll lose trust in what you’re sharing and they won’t engage with you again. Avoid trying to tempt followers with clickbait posts. Facebook doesn’t like this, and neither will your followers.

Instead, let your users know exactly what they can expect from clicking on the link in your social media post. Include relevant images, videos, and hashtags in your posts. Once they are relevant to what you’re sharing, followers will know what to expect.

You should also include a branded link in your posts. Generic short links are widely used on social media platforms, but they don’t tell users anything about the webpage you are sending them to. Sharing a link with your brand’s name in it will help improve brand recognition and build brand trust as followers come to love the content you share.

The keyword featured in a branded link’s URL slug also gives an indication of what the content you’re sharing is about. This, combined with the fact that you are willing to associate your brand name with the content you are sharing, means that followers know you aren’t sending them to spam or a phishing site.

This extra trust means that branded links can increase click-through rates by up to 39% too.

As well as including all these trustworthy ingredients in your posts, make sure that your tone on social media is positive and upbeat. Giving out about competitors won’t build brand trust, showing personality and reminding followers that there’s a person behind your posts will.

Transparency in Business

In a 2016 study, 94% of consumers stated that transparency in a business was essential in gaining their loyalty. But what exactly does “transparency” mean?

For Millennials and Generation Z, it means that a company is willing to use social media to provide a “backstage pass” to the company.

Savvy companies are creating localized stars among their employees, using social media to bring attention to the people within the company. This helps to personalize the connection with the audience – prospects are not buying a faceless brand, they are helping Andrea the precocious engineering graduate further her career.

Millennials and Generation Z are also highly sensitive to how businesses interact with the outside community. These prospects are more likely to regularly give their custom to a company that goes green and gives back. If your company embodies either of these characteristics, don’t hide it. Make it a prominent part of your social media outreach.

From your URL to your Facebook conversations, your primary goal on social media should be to build trust with your target audience. A proper branding strategy is essential here – your audience must know what to connect to after you have proven your value in the market.

Services like Rebrandly allow you to create a memorable online brand, create social media content that will build value and maintain recognition. Once you do this, a loyal audience will find you.

Further Reading:

This Article is About:

  • How to build brand trust
  • Building trust on social media
  • Online branding
  • Building brand trust online

Photo in main image by Elvis Ma via Unsplash

Louisa McGrath
Louisa works on putting together creative and useful content for Rebrandly customers to read. Though she spends a lot of time reading and writing online, she still loves to buy the Sunday papers.