Building consumer trust in today’s digital world is no easy feat, especially when customers are able to uncover all the good and bad about your business in a matter of minutes using the internet. Despite this, there are many ways brands can utilize social media and their website to enhance consumer trust.
It is now more important than ever for brands to be transparent in their communication. In 2012, Edelman Trust Barometer found that out of the 11,000 people they polled, “90% claimed that they wanted companies to be as transparent as possible.” This means that consumers want to know upfront what your brand is all about. No games or gimmicks.
Here are 8 simple ways your brand can utilize social media channels and websites to enhance consumer trust:
Reinforce what your brand stands for, and the high quality of care you treat your clients with through customer testimonials. This shows that your brand follows through, is dependable, and is trustworthy.
Sharing human experiences makes you relatable and easy to connect with. And being relatable increases consumers’ trust in brands. Storytelling engages users and reminds them that there are humans behind the brand. The most successful brands on social media are the ones that possess a strong voice or personality, and engage their audience with human experiences. Storytelling leaves a lasting impression on users. Think about commercials and ads that have stuck with you over the years. They engage you, tug at the heartstrings, and make you laugh. These are the brands consumers recall instantly when looking for a company that fits their needs.
3. Only promise what you can deliver
Sure, a new car sounds great, but an empty promise of a new car doesn’t. Contests and giveaways are a great way to increase your reach and engagement on social media platforms, but they are also a great way to lose consumer trust and create backlash if poorly executed. If this is a route you decide to take, ensure that you have the proper means to track and respond to consumers. It is also extremely important to compile this information through analytic software to determine how successfully the campaign met it’s goals.
4. Be responsive
Carrying on conversations with consumers is one of the most important aspects of social media. Ask them questions, and when they provide them, respond once again, even if it’s just to offer a quick thanks. This builds trust because customers know that their voice has been heard, and that communication with your brand is a two-way street, not one sided.
5. User-friendly webpage
In today’s day and age, ensuring your webpage is mobile-friendly is more important than ever. 1 in 4 online searches are now conducted on mobile devices. That means if a consumer stumbles upon your website while on their phone, and your webpage does not properly adjust to accommodate their device, your company could be missing out on a substantial amount of business. A user-friendly website is also extremely important for the growth of your business through customer referrals. 84% of people trust recommendations given from people they know (Nielsen, 2013) and 57% of users will not recommend a company with a poor mobile site responsive design (Search Engine Journal, 2014.) You can learn more about the benefits of having a responsive website here.
6. Ask for feedback
Along the same lines as being responsive, asking for feedback through social channels shows you’re paying attention to your consumers needs and working to meet them. Not all feedback may be positive, but this helps your brand identify potential issues and get them fixed before they get any worse. That being said…
Negative feedback is unavoidable; all companies, big and small, will at some experience their fair share of unhappy customers. These customers often take to social media to voice their plights; it is extremely important to learn how to properly address these when they pop up on your Facebook wall or Twitter feed. This should be a given, but never, never, never blame the customer: inform them that you are sorry that they had a less than fantastic experience, and offer to make it up to them or tell them you will look into the issue. Also, never ignore a complaint: this will only portray your company in a negative light to the customer who posted the complaint, and to all others who happen to come across it. If not addressed as an out-of-the-norm behavior, your audience members may form a negative perception of your brand and services. The complaint should always be acknowledged: offer an apology, inform the consumer you would like to right the wrong, and provide contact information (such as an e-mail or phone number) for the conversation to continue elsewhere. Addressing these complaints when they pop up on social media is one of the easiest ways your brand can build trust not only with the unhappy customer, but also with all audience members who see the posted complaint.
Integrating your marketing efforts enhances brand trust because it provides consistent messaging and imagery across all channels. The more often a user comes across and engages with a consistent brand image, the more it reinforces that image. (If you’re interested in finding out more about integrated marketing, you can go here.)
If you’re interested in building consumer trust in your brand through social media and other integrated efforts, give us a call at (817) 616-0320 or shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com.