By Darren Wood, Content Editor
It was recently announced that only one in four Britons trusts social media. A shocking statistic amid users angling to see tighter regulations added to social media and its posts, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer.
Edelman said it used more than 33,000 responses from 28 countries between 13 October and 16 November, including about 1,150 UK residents. It also carried out research with another 1,500 UK residents between 23 December and 7 January.
This shocking news comes alongside the development of Facebook-owned WhatsApp launching a new stand-alone app, called WhatsApp Business, designed to help small businesses easily connect with their customers.
An excellent introduction but if potential customers aren’t trusting social media then what’s the point?
In a world where trust is everything, especially when it comes to converting likes into pounds, business leaders have enjoyed a surprise turnaround in public trust, according to a prominent survey of Britons’ faith in institutions – even after Edelman’s statistics.
The credibility of chief executives has improved by 14% during the last year, with 42% of more than 3,000 Britons surveyed saying they trust bosses.
With trust in businesses and their leaders at a high, let’s take a look at how businesses using social media can gain even more trust with their customers which in turn can become profit.
One voice for your brand
It’s very easy to send out a tweet, post or some sort of message to your social media customers, but many forget that tone is so important. One voice is key. We associate with social media like a human being, therefore, If you want people to trust your brand, like we do human beings unlike corporate entities, then you have to write in a way that reaches your readers on a human level. How many times have you tried contacting a website and been put off by a robotic chat bot with no personality? A brand voice is key and is really important in gaining that trust and those all-important click trough’s.
Posting unique, original content
Posting unique content is also a good way of gaining not only trust but repeat custom, sharing posts is all too easy, the innovators and ones who really excel on social media are those who create engaging, innovative content on their news feed, standing out from the crowd, and potentially being buried on timelines.
It’s also good to post different types of media on your account, try and vary what’s showcased from articles and blog posts to videos and perhaps audio clips. This different type of media will not only be unique but will drive traffic. In 2017, the world will watch almost five billion YouTube videos every day. On Facebook, users will get through an astonishing 100 million hours of video footage daily – a figure that has made Facebook video a major priority for 30% of marketers in 2017.
Have haste with your responses
Customer service is key. As always in business, the better the customer service, the more they feel valued. In social media’s case, respond to as many comments and questions as you can in a timely manner. It can be difficult at times to respond to everyone, but strive to. Just like a telephone query when a user reaches out on social media it’s an example of that person being interested in what you do, the brand and the services you provide.
Auto responses won’t do, again it’s all about a personal touch when it comes to social media.
Transparency is key
As with any business, transparency is important and shows there is nothing to hide. While no one wants to reveal all the secrets of their businesses success, there’s no sense in deleting posts, even if it is a horrendous unwarranted complaint. On the flip side, if a complaint is warranted, hold yourself accountable for it. No matter what kind of comment occurs, hold yourself publicly accountable on social media if you’re interested in building trust. There’s no need to cover up the incident, users will respect transparency and will respect the honesty, while also expecting you do everything in your power to clarify and correct mistakes.
The overall message to remember is that a mutually trusting relationship needs to be established with your audience. Followers don’t become trusting overnight, there needs to be a commitment to see results, and ultimately, you’ll have a much better chance at converting those followers into click throughs and long-term, paying customers.