Episode 16: Enhancing brand trust with social

Episode 16: Enhancing brand trust with social


Ep 16: Serious Social – Enhancing brand trust with social

Social marketing will not make you trusted if you are not already on that path. But it will accelerate and enhance brand trust. Your strategy is to get your audiences to know you, like you and eventually, trust you.

Social is your brand voice, building trust from audiences is vital. Here are four steps to enhance brand trust. This episode was recorded live on Facebook on Friday 26th June 2020.

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Full Transcript

Welcome to the Serious Social podcast, created by the straight-talking social media experts at immediate future.


Brands need to be trusted by audiences. In fact, brand trust is one of the most intangible advantages a company can have. 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.

In the current climate, trust has been eroded further. Consumers and customers are hyper- suspicious, and even cynical. Questioning everything.

Let’s be honest if you’re an untrustworthy brand, no amount of social media marketing will wallpaper over the cracks. People want to buy from trusted brands. And you cannot expect trust if the fundamentals are not in place. From companies that support employees to products that do good for society or our environment, people want more from brands.

Social is instead your opportunity to demonstrate your brand purpose – with the right messaging, it can enhance your company reputation and accelerate trust. Even for those brands striving to be better, the right communication will do a great deal to enhance trust in the brand

But even trusted brands can ruin their reputation on social. A badly timed tweet. An insta post that virtue signals. The skirting around of fundamental issues with a product or service. It’s become harder to hide misdemeanours and inconsistencies. The world is now fact-checking your commitment.

The Edelman research shows that 33% of people have convinced others to stop using a brand that they felt was not acting appropriately

Meaning, 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?

Here are the 4 areas you need to consider:

Think before you speak

Social is your brand voice. It needs someone at the helm of your social that is not only an expert in the channels but is a hard-bitten marketer with comms experience in the years, not months. You need the talent and skills of experience that will consider misinterpretation or insensitivity long before the tweet is scheduled.

Bots and automated responses don’t fare well either (well not yet). Not without someone watching and taking care. 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 too about what your communicating – not just who is doing it. You will 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.

Get these fundamentals right so your audience will get to know you. Know your voice and what you mean to them.

Show up and be kind

Keith Weed president at the Advertising Association said recently  “I’m a big believer that 80% of success is showing up. Brands can’t show up physically right now but they can show up in people’s lives and find ways to [encourage them to] connect with our brands”.

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 has shown recently. Keeping true to their voice whilst recognising the challenges of lockdown.

Don’t template responses, don’t change your tone of voice overnight, understand the feelings of each audience segment that will buy from you.

Consistency and empathy are how you will be liked

Tune into the crazy relationship

Listen to your customers. I know I bang on about social listening, but if you don’t use the Brandwatch platform you are working with one arm tied behind your back.

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. You just can’t be relevant if you are in a vacuum

And whilst relevancy builds relationship and trust, don’t get so personal with the data that you come across as creepy! That will break trust

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 if you want to accelerate brand trust.

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 wonderful cornucopia of 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

87% of people say that social media posts help them decide what to buy online, while research from the Spiegel Research Center showing that good reviews can increase online conversion by 270%.

Social trust is built on what others say,

As I said at the start, social marketing will not make you trusted if you are not already on that path. But it will accelerate and enhance brand trust. Something customers and consumers value enormously right now. Your strategy is to get your audiences to know you, like you and eventually, trust you.

If you’re after more know-how to break the social boring, subscribe now and check out the show notes for links to our website and social profiles.