Social media is about social interactions among people via digital platforms. In order words, it revolves around relationships with people, perhaps, people you may have never seen or meet in real life. Like every other kind of relationships, trust is needed not only to sustain the relationship, but to make it productive and mutually beneficial to all parties.
Relationship and Trust
For me, relationship is built on the foundation of trust and where there is no trust, there is no relationship. An article by Psychology Today described relationship to cover “all sorts of human connections, including ties to friends, parents, children, siblings, other family members, coworkers, neighbors, mentors, and more.” To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable in confiding in them because you are safe with them.
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In the digital world, apart from being concerned about how their data or privacy is being handled, your audience or potential customers/clients are also concerned about whether you will deliver as you promised. They are worried about whether your real or fake. In fact, the bottom line is that they are worried whether they can trust you or not.
More than ever, marketers or brands are being scrutinized by prospective customers and clients. They are worried about so many things and as such, are always willing, if possible, go to any extent to verify that you are what you claim to be. People are tired of scams in form of useless, substandard or over priced products and services flooding the social web. With so many marketers or brands out there claiming expertise in areas they are not, it’s not out of place for them to being meticulous.
As a marketer, brand or business, it is your job to prove them wrong by connecting and building trust with them.
Trust is not something that happens automatically. It demands a consistent effort geared towards it. Trust is earned and not offered. Therefore, to build trust, you should be prepared to prove yourself. People trust you if your actions aligns with your words or promises. You build trust by keeping your words, if possible, delivering beyond your promises.
You gain trust when your products and services meets up or surpasses your promises. Trust is earned if you take is as a mantra in all you do, that customers are fully satisfied. You can do this through providing excellent products/services, keeping your promises and making sure that your customers find delight in patronizing your company or using your products/services. For example, if you are into content marketing, one of the effective ways of building trust is by creating and sharing valuable contents to your audience.
If there is a gap between the way you want your customers perceive you and the value they find in your brand, then something is definitely wrong. With wonderful and compelling ads, you can succeed in generating sales, but such sales cannot be sustained in the near future. Consequently, you will end up having numerous dissatisfied customers and bad reviews, which off course is dangerous to your business.
What Kills Trust
However, you can as well kill trust through inconsistency or dishonesty. A whole lot of times, marketers over hype their products and services in order to lure customers into making purchases. While this approach might temporarily increase their sales volumes, but the downsides could be very severe, especially on the side of trust. It could severe trust from customers to a very high extent, especially when they fail to deliver their promises.
One good thing about trust is that once have been able to establish it on minds of your customers, they will always have reasons to come back to you. Trust instills confidence on your customers. Hence, they not only become loyal customers, but your brand ambassadors. Most importantly, it helps you get referrals from satisfied customers. It not only ensures customer loyalty, but guarantees increase in sales volume.
No doubt, nobody will recommend a brand with questionable trust related issues. One word for you, it takes concerted efforts to build trust, and as such, when you have attained a certain degree of trust, you should guard it jealously. Do not launder it just for temporary gains.