Published on January 31st, 2013 | by Jeff Katra
Why Consumer Trust is the Key to Social Media Success
According to Edelman’s Trust Barometer there are 16 different attributes that help a business build trust in the consumer’s eyes. These attributes can be broken down in five categories. Understanding these five categories and how they apply to a social media content strategy will help you as business owner build relevant relationships with consumers.
Successful marketing on social media is all about providing value beyond your normal products/services. This value is built on a content strategy that provides the consumer with relevant information in your industry which in turn will position you as a thought leader. Simply sharing relevant information in your industry isn’t going to provide results on social media. The reason for this is that you haven’t taken the necessary steps in building trust with your consumers. In order to get quality feedback on your posts you need to build and nurture the relationships you start with fans/followers on each social platform.
In order to build a proper content strategy that will produce results, Edelman lays out the necessary steps one must take in order to build a solid relationship with your consumers. Let’s take a look at each individual category and break them down.
- Listen to customers needs and feedback
Current customers and prospected leads want to know they aren’t just another number in sales funnel. They are human beings and expect to be treated as such. For a good social media content strategy a business owner must be responsive and address each customers feedback in a personable fashion.
- Treats Employees Well
Company culture is the root of a good business. Customers want to know the business they buy from treats their employees well. The best way this can be portrayed in your content strategy is publicly showing your customers how much you appreciate your employees. This can be as simple as posting pictures of fun activities in the office or announcing an employees superb performance online.
- Places the Customer Ahead of Profits
This one is pretty simple. Make sure that you make sure that the customers needs and satisfaction are more important than landing the sale. The old adage “the customer is always right” speaks for itself.
- Communicates Frequently and Honestly on the State of It’s Business
This element is extremely important to address quickly and efficiently in a social media strategy. Social media has created a world of business where secrets don’t exist and problems can escalate very rapidly. If a product you sell has a recall or your service didn’t meet the customer’s expectation doesn’t always mean that they will not be returning buyer. Publicly announcing that you are taking the proper steps in to resolve the issue will prevent negative feedback from taking off.
- Has Ethical Business Practices
This correlates directly with communicating honestly and frequently. With the ethical issues of corporate business being questioned in recent years it is important that customers know that businesses they deal with are ethical in their practices. Social media is all about being transparent and open in the eyes of the public. It truly is a world without secrets.
- Takes Responsible Actions to Address an Issue or Crisis
Social media is a great platform for crisis control. Customers online not only want to know that issues are being resolved, but they want to know each individual step that is being taken.
- Has Transparent and Open Business Practices
Social media has changed the way businesses lay out their core values and philosophies. Today’s business philosophy should be one that is extremely transparent. By transparent it means making your business a window where all practices are out there for the public eye to see.
3. Products & Services
- Offers High Quality Products & Services
Having a high quality product/service is key in any business model. In a highly competitive market having product/service that is sub-par in quality can quickly destroy your business. This product/service is what you build your business on, and if the foundation is weak, a social media content strategy will quickly cause it to crumble.
- Is an Innovator of New Products, Services, Ideas
Being innovative is a key in success in this competitive market. This doesn’t mean that you have to re-invent the wheel in order to be successful in todays business world. You just have to make sure that you can spin the wheel quickly and efficiently. This directly applies not only to your product/service, but how you market it online and on social media.
- Works to Protect and Improve the Environment
Trending pollution issues in China’s manufacturing industry and other environmentally un-friendly business practices have brought how businesses operate towards green initiatives in to the limelight. Consumers prefer to do business with companies that make environmentally good decisions. You don’t have to have a LEED certified office, though it helps, but even simple actions such as recycling defective products can help. Most importantly make sure that every action you take is made public. Post everything on your blog and social media so it is seen by the public eye.
- Addresses Society’s Needs In It’s Everyday Business
Addressing that you as a business care about society is very important. Taking every step possible to contribute to society can have an extremely positive effect on how consumers perceive your brand on social media.
- Creates Programs That Positively Impact the Local Community
This is quite possibly the best method for creating positive press and building trust from your customers. You as a business owner don’t have to actually create a program in order to create positive impact. Simply being involved in community initiatives can be just as helpful. Show your fans on social media that you care about the community as a whole and are willing to take the time out of your day to do so.
- Partners with NGOs(non-governmental organizations), Government, and 3rd Parties to Address Societal Issues
The best way to give back to the local community as a business to is partner with local organizations that focus on community development. Combine your social media content efforts and show your fans what actions you are taking. The results will be astounding.
( via danpontefract)
- Has Highly Regarded and Widely Admired Top Leadership
This can be applied to almost any business. The ethics, practices, and actions of the person or people that run a business directly reflect the business itself. In the world of social media the characteristics can make a difference of whether or not your customers trust your brand.
- Ranks High on a Global List of Top Companies
- Delivers Consistent Financial Returns to Investors
The reason these two are coupled together is because they don’t apply to a good portion of businesses in the marketplace. However, these are the ultimates goals for a lot of businesses today. Being listed on a top ranked list of companies gives a business great credibility and being able to return positively to investor will help when more investments are needed. Investment is a big key in the startup technology scene and gaining investments comes back to the key concept of trust.
Success in today’s business world requires a dynamic product and key strategy to market your brand. A good social media content strategy is an excellent way to make a positive impact on your target market. However, it requires building quality relationships with fans/followers in order to reap the full benefits. These relationships are built on trust and it takes time, effort, and consistency. Take a quality product/service and these five categories, implement them in your efforts on social media, and success will almost be secondary.
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