User trust on social media is difficult for many industries. With various data breaches, fake news, and misinformation, companies face an uphill battle to ensure users can trust them.
However, there are some small steps businesses can take when building user trust. Below, we discuss and outline five steps to help you along the way.
1. Be Active
A big part of letting users know about your product or business is posting constantly on social media. Remember, not all posts need to promote your offerings, but having recent posts confirms you’re still active on social accounts. In today’s world of multiple social media accounts, not being active raises a flag for some users.
A large part of being active is responding to user-generated content. Whether it’s a post showcasing a product in use or negative experience at a store, managers need to respond to this content. Not only does it let that unique user know you care about them, but it also shows other users as well.
User-generated product reviews or photos is another source for social content. However, be sure to have consent from the user before posting it on a social channel.
Real World Example – Back in 2017, Apple turned to its users to generate images and video via their iPhones. The campaign, Shot on iPhone continues with each new version of the iPhone and leads to content both on and off of social media. But is a great example of customers showing how they use a product.
2. Be Transparent
Users want to know what data companies are collecting and how they are using it. From time to time, share an update to user agreement rules or how your company is using this data. Reassuring users that their data is safe via social media channels adds to a brand’s data protection authority.
Aside from data, share how a product gets to a customer. Showcase the product from conception to delivery. This lets the user see how product assembly takes place and where the materials come from. It lets them know how your company delivered this item to them.
Real World Example – Domino’s underwent a big transformation in 2010. Responding to users who said they were the worst big pizza chain restaurant, the company created the Pizza Turnaround campaign. With videos and supportive materials shared on social media, and other channels, the company showed how they were updating their pizza to users.
3. Be Real
Part of being transparent is being truly honest about a problem or issue. Let users know when you are recalling a product and why. Share what went wrong with the service offered and what’s being done to fix it. Being open about problems and issues lets users know that your company is dedicated to giving them answers.
Providing the right answers shouldn’t include questionable link sources. Some brands have rules about what sites they link to or use as a resource. Check out a link before sharing it with users. Would you send this link to your friends? There are even brands that only have branded short links in their posts. This link practice shows users the company or brand itself vetted the link.
Real World Example – Rebrandly features branded shortened URL links on their tweets. They also provide users with educational videos on how to create their own branded shortened links.
4. Be Consistent
Have a dedicated person monitoring social media channels. This individual will be in charge of consistently responding to users, posting on pages per the content schedule and monitoring reviews.
When companies have an established social media manager, it safeguards them from dropping the ball on social media channel management. It also paves the way for consistency in social media, which users want in a brand or company.
Brands that take the time to establish a social media schedule and how to respond to negative feedback will have no problem being consistent. Communicating with various teams within a company about how to respond to social media can generate different ideas that one individual wouldn’t have thought of by themselves. It’s also an opportunity to gather what a company’s identity is, which can then be clearly communicated to users.
5. Be Unique
Once you have established clear brand identity, communicating it to social media users is the next step. When sharing products or the company’s back story, be creative with content. Create videos and photos that you don’t see every day, within reason of course. Is your office space a fun spot for filming? Are you on an outdoor excursion to someplace beautiful? Share it with your users.
Become a source of information for users about a niche topic. Share updates not only about your brand but innovations or news within the industry. Try to take a very focused view of a larger industry. For instance, rather than share fashion week updates, focus in on artificial intelligence and its use in the shows. Creating a brand or company as a source of a niche industry information builds more user trust.
Real World Example – National Geographic is an authoritative resource for highlighting and exploring various locations around the world. On their Instagram account, they show users where their photographers are in breathtaking photos, or share what users are shooting with their cameras.
By taking any of the steps discussed above, businesses can build the trust their audience has in them. However, it is an ongoing job to maintain this trust. Companies who adopt new social media practices or continue to figure out new ways of engaging with customers will sustain user trust.