“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”– Albert Einstein
I don’t normally use quotes. It always feels a bit cheesy. But this is such a perfect fit for brand trust on social. It is the small stuff of tweets, posts or comments that can make or break brand trust.
In the current climate, trust and credibility are pivotal for brands. Consumers and customers are hyper-suspicious and even cynical. Questioning everything. According to Edelman Trust Barometer 2020, 81% say trust in a brand to do what’s right is a deal-breaker or deciding factor in their brand buying decision.
So it’s a good thing that a report at the end of last year by Brother UK and Telegraph Spark revealed that 42% of businesses said public trust in brands was one of their top three concerns for the next year.
Mind you, if you’re an untrustworthy brand, no amount of social media marketing will paper over the cracks. You’ll need to have your purpose, your ethics and your ways of working sorted – you won’t be able to hide on social.
Only then is social your opportunity to enhance your company reputation and accelerate trust. It is the little things that will build on your foundations and carry your credibility to your audiences.
But even trusted brands can ruin their reputation on social. A badly timed tweet. An insta post that virtue signals. A poor service response. It’s become harder to hide misdemeanours and inconsistencies.
So social is both your opportunity to build on brand trust, and your risk to reputation. So how do you walk the fine line with your messaging, content and communications?
Think before you speak
Social is your voice. It speaks what you do. And that voice needs to be experienced. An expert in the channels, and marketing and nuances of communications. Then you’ll have the knowledge that will prevent a poor tweet or insensitive post.
Bots and automated responses can really scupper trust. The recent ASOS shenanigans by customer service on a marketing promo are either rogue community manager or a bot. either way they are not building trust.
You’ll need to think deeper to about what you’re communicating – not just who is doing it. You’ll need to create content that solves rather than sells. No one likes to be sold to and it creates a transactional relationship when appropriate meaningful solutions to problems people are facing are going to have more impact today than ever.
Show up and be kind
No one wants that fickle friend who shows up whenever it’s all about them. Be consistent on social. But if you want to be liked too, then you need to show emotions– and for that to resonate you need empathy with your audience.
The sort of empathy Marmite have shown recently. Keeping true to their voice whilst recognising the challenges of lockdown.
— Marmite (@marmite) April 23, 2020
Don’t template responses, don’t change your tone of voice over night, understand the feelings of each audience segment that will buy from you.
Tune into the relationship
Listen to your customers. You need to see how your audience interests and behaviours are changing. And right now they are switching direction fast. Crazy fast. Pin balling through different topics, feelings, behaviours. To be trusted, you need to be liked. To be liked you need to be relevant!
Consideration to relationships must go further than those with your audience. Consider who you partner with, who your advocates and influencers are, what other brands you will connect to and where you’ll advertise. All relationships and associations will matter.
The proof is in the pudding
There is nothing like someone else saying you’re a trusted brand. And User-Generated Content (UGC) is your social proof. From online ratings and reviews, through to blog posts and content about your brand shared across social. UGC is abundant.
During lockdown Mission Wraps UK has brought in more UGC into their campaigns. Gaining greater loyalty, more engagement and best of all social proof that their wraps and tacos are awesome.
View this post on Instagram
87% of people say that social media posts help them decide what to buy online, while research from the Spiegel Research Centre showing that good reviews can increase online conversion by 270%.
Social marketing will accelerate and enhance brand trust in many many small ways that will build into more. Your strategy is to get your audiences to know you, like you and eventually, trust you.