Many aspects contribute to your audience’s size, loyalty, and engagement rates on social media. Whether you’re interested in growing an audience for a personal brand or a corporate one, enhancing those metrics is frequently the key to success. You can objectively evaluate the number of followers your brand has and implement methods that grow that number. However, if you want to create an audience invested in your message, you must go a step farther.
Almost every brand on the planet has a social media presence, and individual consumers are becoming bored from being advertised to. If you want to break through the white noise and capture your readership’s attention and interest, you must first establish trust.
Establishing trust on social media, as in real life, is neither quick nor straightforward quick nor straightforward. Nonetheless, by implementing these eight strategies consistently, you can move closer to developing a trusted, loyal following:
1. Maintain a consistent, personal brand voice when communicating.
The first step is straightforward. If you want users to view your brand as a person (as opposed to a corporate entity), you must write in a way that connects with them on a personal level. Minimalistic, robotic messages lack personality, and they can instantly turn off an otherwise interested party. If your firm has not yet established a brand voice, spend some time considering the fundamental traits you wish to communicate through tone and word choices, then practice communicating them through a writing tone.
When you’ve established a brand voice, it’s critical to maintain consistency. If your postings sound upbeat and casual one day, then formal and sparse the next, your audience may become confused and lose interest in your brand.
2. Make time for humor and pleasure.
Most of your postings should be about things in your business or a demonstration of your content marketing plan. However, it’s equally necessary to find time for humor and pleasure. Consider sharing a short video clip that makes you giggle on Monday morning with your audience (as long as it is appropriate for your company). They’re likely to find it amusing as well.
Sharing this type of information helps to weaken your audience’s defenses and establishes a person behind all of these articles. It lends your brand a personable and trustworthy personality and communicates to your audience that your primary objective is to share with them, not to sell them a product.
3. Share one-of-a-kind, innovative thoughts.
Thought leadership is a critical characteristic of trusted brands. Sharing posts on social media is simple and widely accepted. While it is possible to grow a network of Instagram followers by sharing or retweeting popular content, it reduces you to a glorified news feed constructor. Your brand becomes virtually invisible, buried among the other companies.
To win your audience’s trust and confidence, you must position yourself as a trailblazer by sharing innovative, creative ideas. That is not to say you cannot share other people’s stuff with your audience—but do it sparingly and focus on your original content.
4. Address as many comments and inquiries as possible.
While responding to every inquiry may be impossible depending on the size and reach of your company, for the majority of brands, it is a simple task. When a person posts a comment on one of your social media postings or asks a question about your business, this indicates their interest in your brand. If you answer such comments and queries promptly, you demonstrate that you have heard and care about them.
When responding, ensure that you address the topic or comment completely and avoid using a formulaic auto-response. If you want to develop trust with your audience, write each response personally.
5. Be forthright.
Transparency communicates to others that you have nothing to conceal. You do not want to divulge everything about your business (such as confidential financial data or internal procedures), but taking steps to be transparent and honest about your operation can benefit your audience significantly.
Additionally, it is prudent to avoid the urge to erase posts (unless they are offensive to other users). For instance, if a fan publishes a complaint on your Facebook page about your business, it may be tempting to erase it. However, leaving the message up and promptly responding to it demonstrates that you are not concealing any aspect of your business and that you always listen to your consumers.
6. Be accountable to yourself.
Whatever type of business you run, horrible things will ultimately happen. You could miss a deadline, make a shipment mistake, or have a board member charged with a felony. Whatever unpleasant news surfaces, you must hold yourself publicly accountable on social media if you’re serious about developing trust.
Rather than attempting to conceal the incident or justify why things happened the way they did, directly address the problem’s core causes and describe any information about the circumstance. If there is any way you can make amends with your followers, either individually or collectively, do so. It demonstrates that you recognize your errors and are willing to go to great lengths to remedy them.
7. Avoid advertising.
Social media marketing is a misnomer, as using social media only for marketing goals will lose the bulk of your audience. Avoid the temptation to market directly to your audience—the moment your followers feel like they are being advertised; they will lose trust in your ability to act in their best interests.
The proper method to market on social media is to provide value to your audience—offer a promotional rate, spotlight a product with a free giveaway, or respond to inquiries with direct links to relevant products and services. Trust will automatically follow if you make it a point to provide value to your clients rather than merely selling to them.
8. Commit to a higher purpose.
Corporate social responsibility is an excellent approach to boosting your brand’s perceived worth and ethics, and social media is the ideal platform for communicating with your audience.
Don’t go out of your way to boast about your accomplishments since this may turn off your clients, but don’t be hesitant to highlight any philanthropic or volunteer efforts you’ve undertaken, particularly in your local community. Consider framing it as a means to inspire your audience to make generous gifts of their own. This not only fosters trust but also encourages your audience to engage in charitable giving and volunteerism.
Followers do not develop a trusting nature overnight. To see results, commitment is required. However, suppose you can create a mutually trusted relationship with your audience. In that case, your articles will have a stronger impact, your followers will be more likely to continue with you, and you will ultimately have a far higher chance of turning those followers into long-term, paying clients.