Over the past few years, we’ve seen almost every brand, no matter the industry, take to social media for communicating its values and engaging customers. However, many fall into the trap of focusing on ‘likes’ instead of actual engagement with prospects and customers. The real value of social media lies in inspiring trust and creating brand advocates.
How can brands harness this potential of social media marketing to build loyalty and trust?
Use these tips to leverage the power of social media for moving beyond likes and shares, and actually building trust in your audience.
Share Quality and Unique Content
One of the most important things to do on your social media handles is to offer content that is of incredible value to your audience. Creating high-quality content will ensure that your visitors actually engage with your brand’s accounts. Posting quality content demonstrates that your business is an expert in the field, which will ensure that prospective customers will look to you to solve their problems in that field. To offer great content that can appeal to your target audience, you first need to identify your customers, what they want, and the reasons behind it. It is also a good idea to identify your competitors to see the kind of content they provide and where they lack. Once you get to know this, you can create content that aligns with your audience’s needs.
When you are using content to convert your followers into customers, don’t make your content only about promoting your products or services. If you make your content more about information, you can establish your brand as a thought leader, which will make you a go-to resource for information your target audience is looking for.
When you offer relevant, valuable information to your prospects on social media, they will trust your business. Moreover, they will be more receptive to promotional material when you do share some.
For example, if you make three interesting social media posts that provide valuable information to your prospective customers and one promotional post, your audience will not dismiss the promotional post or be annoyed with it; instead, it will be more open to engaging with it. By creating valuable content, you can create a strong following on social media, which strengthens your brand position. This will ensure that your followers will remember your brand whenever they require what your business offers.
When an individual reaches out to you on social media with a comment on your post or a question regarding your business, it shows that they are interested in your brand, and have the potential to convert into a customer. If you respond to their queries on time, you demonstrate that you care about your audience. This makes you a credible business in their eyes.
A customer expects to see a response instantly on social media. When you respond in a timely fashion, it shows that you can offer excellent service. When responding, make sure to adequately address the query or comment, instead of resorting to formulaic auto-response statements. If a customer complains, tackle it head-on. If you handle customer complaints with care, these opportunities can turn into great testimonials.
Encourage User-Generated Content
On social media platforms, consumers rank the opinions of their peers above any product or service advertisement. Nowadays, consumers want to see real people using a product before they decide to make a purchase. This is why user-generated content (UGC) can attract a much more loyal audience than direct advertisements. UGC brings real consumers into the fold, helping your brand build credibility and gain trust. Seeing a product used by real people, as opposed to product shots, allows prospective customers to build a connection with the products, thus driving more sales.
Moreover, sharing UGC will increase your ratings as customers will be thrilled to see their content being shared or retweeted by the brand. This will also show that you value your customers and what they have to say about your offerings. Prospective customers are also more likely to share UGC, meaning that your business can get more amount of exposure. When you share user-generated content, always ask for permission first. Also, remember to tag the photo and mention the account when sharing the content.
Communicate in a Personal Brand Voice
If you want your target audience to treat you more than a corporate entity, you have to write your social media messages and posts in a humane manner. Robotic messages that lack personality can instantly turn off an otherwise interested customer. This is why you must spend time developing a brand voice for your company – the kind of tonality you use when talking to prospects and consumers across all channels. Also, ensure your brand voice matches your company’s ethos and offerings. Once you have established your brand voice for your social media posts, it is crucial to be consistent with it.
Do not communicate with your target audience in different voices. For example, if your posts are formal one day, and casual the other day, this might leave your audience confused, and they might lose interest and trust in your brand.
Display Social Responsibility
An excellent way to build trust with your audience on social media channels is to let them know your business commits to a greater good. Companies committed to social responsibility often gain more trust from customers who appreciate brands giving back to the community around them. Social media channels are the perfect platform to communicate this message and spread it organically. However, when doing this, don’t boast about your efforts as this may turn your audience off. You can inform your audience about the charitable or volunteer initiatives that you have taken up and can encourage them to make their contributions. This will not only build your brand image and cultivate trust but will also promote more volunteerism from your audience.
If you’re building your brand through social media marketing, trust in your business can propel your company forward. When you establish a relationship of trust with your audience using social media, your content and social media posts deliver a more significant impact and your followers are more likely to show faith in your business, which ultimately increases your chances of converting them into long-term paying consumers.