You know that it’s important for your business to be on social media. You know it’s important because all your competitors are on social media and it seems like the trendy, popular thing to do. But social media isn’t just a passing trend – it’s here to stay and it should be part of every business’s marketing strategy. And even though your company has a Facebook page and a Twitter account, that isn’t enough. Your social media presence should be an extension of your company’s voice and personality.
Having a social media presence can introduce new ways to attract customers and generate leads. It provides an opportunity to connect with people on a more personal level. And it’s a way to build your brand’s presence in a genuine way. By being active on social media, you can engage with people and start building a trusted reputation. How you ask? Just follow these four steps:
1. Be Authentic
No one likes to be yelled at. And that’s what the constant promotion of your products or services can look like on social media. Acting like a digital carnival barker, constantly shouting about your newest and coolest offers isn’t going to achieve much. If anything, it will just annoy people and make them stop following your company. So instead, talk with your customers on social media, not at them. Build relationships and foster a sense of community around your brand by creating an authentic voice.
By developing this authentic voice, you can humanize your brand and engage customers in an honest and open way. Because social media is inherently an informal medium, you can take advantage of that to let your company’s personality shine through. Speak in a more conversational tone, not in marketing or business jargon, to engage with customers as if you were chatting over a cup of coffee. This type of casual interaction will earn trust in your company because it will be seen as relatable and friendly, not cold and corporate.
2. Be a Purveyor of Excellent Content
Building brand trust also means creating and sharing content that will interest your customers. Instead of just focusing on touting your product’s features or your company’s mundane quarterly reports, concentrate on providing valuable content that is geared specifically toward your audience. By creating and curating great content, your company will stand out as a thought leader, industry expert, and just an all around cool business that people will want to engage with.
For example, if you’re the owner of a specialty shoe boutique, write a blog post reporting on the latest shoe designs premiered at New York Fashion Week. Or share gorgeous images of design inspirations for the fall line of riding boots. Creating and sharing content with your audience will keep them tuned into what you’re saying because it’s interesting and relevant. You’re social media content should be all about educating, engaging, and elucidating, which will help build trust and general likeability.
3. Be Accountable
Everyone makes mistakes – that’s just human nature. But how you handle those mistakes can really set you apart from your competitors. We’ve all seen the social media blunders committed by some companies on Twitter (ahem, Kenneth Cole and Entenmann’s), and you’ve probably cringed at how some of these were handled. Don’t cause a PR disaster for your company by making a social media mistake and then not offering a sufficient mea culpa. Take accountability for your social media fail – that will garner you far more respect that just brushing it aside, pretending it never happened.
And it isn’t just about protecting your image from internal blunders. When you have to answer to customers on social media, make sure you do so in a way that’s honest and transparent. If there are complaints or questions, address these promptly and appropriately. People will appreciate your professionalism and it will be a big step in continuing engagement with customers. Even if you’re getting negative feedback, use social media to address concerns immediately and act courteously and respectfully. Excellent customer service can go a long way in building trust in your brand.
4. Leverage Employees as Brand Advocates
Did you know that 77% of buyers in an eMarketer report said they’d be more likely to make a purchase from a company whose CEO is active on social media sites like Twitter? While customers enjoy when CEOs are on social, it’s also important that your employees are active as well. Why you ask? Because your employees are your biggest brand advocates and know your company best. When you encourage your employees to advocate on behalf of your brand online, you amplify the voice and reach of your company.
Your most engaged employees can act as an extension of brand – they can share fun company tidbits, upcoming promotional offers, or customer feel-good stories with their social networks. These types of posts that come from your own employees are the most effective method to building a genuine and authentic reputation. And having a positive reputation is the best way to earn trust in your brand.
By following these 4 steps, your company can start earning brand trust through social. Because it isn’t just about being present on social media these days – it’s about utilizing social media to project your company’s voice and personality to connect with customers. Register today for a demo of the leading employee advocacy platform to jump start your social media marketing efforts and to begin building brand trust.