Over the last decade, we have witnessed drastic evolution in the buying behaviour of customers. According to Statista, in 2019, over 2 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.46 billion global digital buyers in 2015. This evolving digital buying behaviour of customers is sparking the need to deliver superior customer experience, enhance online reputation on social media and generate positive word of mouth thereby impacting the overall business growth.
Outlined below are the five key ways to build trust using social media:
1. Inspire and Lead – Thought leadership establishes authority and increases the recognition in the industry. Social media channels allow brands to strike effective two-way communication with prospects and customers. There are various ways to establish thought leadership and authority among industry peers such as producing high quality content assets, answering the questions and addressing the burning challenges, striking new conversations in the discussion forums and so on.
In this example below, Mailchimp shared Litmus’ content on Twitter:
Rand Fishkin’s whiteboard Friday helps Moz to establish a great thought leadership in the example below.
2. Define a TAT for online responses - Responding the right way with a quick turnaround impacts trust drastically. Digitally advanced brands hire an online reputation agency or invest in monitoring tools like Hootsuite to ensure that prompt response is delivered on social media. The main objective is not just to send out a prompt response, but also help customers and prospects to resolve the issues in real-time. Most customers actively seek help on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t be afraid of complaints and negative comments; addressing them head on is quintessential. Be transparent in accepting an issue and at the same time ensure that the issues are addressed positively. Also, ensure that the response expectations are set.
According to Lithium study, only 20% of brands are promptly responding within two hours on Twitter.
Here are some amazing examples of great customer service and response times:
Dell is super quick and efficient in solving the issue
Check out this example from Zappos
Xbox sets the expectations right with dedicated customer service account on Twitter
3. Consider social responsibility – Considering social responsibility is the key to establish trust among society as a whole. Customers and prospects should know that the brand isn’t just focusing on profits, but also contributing and giving back to the society.
Here’s an example from Yum!Brands and IBM. They have dedicated CSR accounts on Facebook and Twitter.
4. Personalize the experience – Having a personality and tone for your brand ensures consistency across channels. While maintaining the consistency, ensure personalizing the experience. Your fans and followers should not think that there is an automated bot behind all your social channels. Attach a face to conversations and show how real people are driving your brand.
Here is one good example of personalization from FedEx
And, one more from Litmus
Here is an epic example from Southwest when director Kevin Smith was asked to leave the flight because of his weight
5. Avoid Bait and Switch model at any cost – Clickable content assets or online paid advertisements should deliver value and promise. End users should be able to resonate with the offer and the landing page, both alike. Content offers and assets create expectations and hence, it is imperative to promise only what is possible to deliver. Bait-and-switch normally breaks the trust and results into negative word of mouth. Each social media channel should have consistent offer and communication so that there is no confusion and misunderstanding.
Here is an example of bait and switch from Domo Inc. The post is directly taking to the demo instead of adding value through a resource
Building brand trust is ultimately showing a human face to prospects and customers, showing you care! We hope the above points help you to increase brand advocacy and build trust among prospects and customers.