It’s easy to measure your start-up’s success on social media by tracking followers, likes and comments. But the most important metric you should be focusing on is trust! Almost every business in the world has a social media account, which means you need to do something to cut through the noise. And the only way to earn the attention of your audience is by building trust. Indeed, most people will come into contact with your brand for the first time on social media. They’ll make a decision about whether they’re interested in buying from you within 30 seconds of landing on your profile. Think about the last nine posts that you shared… What are you communicating to your audience? Do your posts inspire confidence in your business? In this article, we’ll explain how to build trust on social media so that your brand can develop a loyal customer base.

1. Be an Authority

People will be more likely to trust you if you present yourself as an authority or expert in your industry. This is because your customers and clients want some bang for their buck. They don’t want just anyone to solve their problems – they want an industry leader.

This means that your company should be creating quality content, giving advice and joining conversations in your field. You’ll need to keep up with the latest trends and frequently share your insights across all social media platforms. Here are some ideas for content to help you demonstrate your authority:

  • Articles sharing your knowledge
  • Infographics outlining important data
  • Case studies to demonstrate new strategies
  • Podcasts that you’ve been interviewed on
  • Live video presentations sharing your thoughts

Establishing yourself as an authority will take time. You’ll need to consistently come up with new social media post ideas and regularly engage with your audience. But if you commit to sharing your knowledge and providing your audience with value, they’ll definitely come to trust you.

If you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your space, people will keep coming back for more. They’ll also be more likely to turn to you when they’re ready to buy a product or service that you offer!

2. Be Helpful

You can’t expect to build trust on social media if you’re not willing to help your audience. As a business, you obviously want to make money. But people won’t trust you if you’re always asking them to buy from you. Rather, posting content that helps your audience will show that your brand is about more than just making money.

Social media is about bringing communities together, so you need to provide value to your community! Your followers are far more likely to trust you if the content that you post solves their problems.

You could post how-to articles, instructional videos, tips and tricks or any other kind of content that helps your audience. It’s also a good idea to comment on posts, answer questions posted on your page and share content from a wide variety of sources, not just your own.

This will encourage your followers to actively seek out your social media posts! They’ll love seeing your posts on their feed because they know that you’re going to make their life easier.

You need to provide your followers with an unbelievable amount of value. This will encourage them to stay on your account for longer, increase the likelihood of them engaging and keep them coming back for more. It also means they’ll be more willing to consider buying your products when you make posts that promote your offering.

3. Be Human

Social media is all about people, so make sure to act like a person! Your audience doesn’t want to engage with a robot. You probably know that there’s nothing worse than a generic and unrelatable brand.

To build trust on social media, you need to engage with people and show your business’ personality. So don’t just post content and then forget about it. You need to engage with other accounts, reply to your comments on your posts and start conversations with your followers. The more you interact with others, the more people will reach out for your services.

This also means that you should make time for humour and entertainment. Not all of your posts need to be formal and corporate. Instead, post something that will make your audience laugh or brighten their day. This will give your business a fun personality and show that there are human beings behind your logo.

4. Join Conversations

To become the go-to expert in your field, you need to proactively start discussions and join conversations. It’s easier than you think to start engaging with people in your target audience!

For instance, you could:

  • Comment on posts that mention your business
  • Engage with accounts that use hashtags relevant to your business
  • Join Facebook groups in your niche to post content and answer questions
  • Solve peoples’ problems on Quora and Reddit
  • Send DMs to people engaging with your content
  • Collaborate with other businesses, experts and industry-leaders
  • Offer quick and useful customer service

This will encourage your audience to trust you because they will see that you’re the real deal. If you can solve people’s problem, drive new conversations and lead your industry, your target market will start coming to you to solve their problems.

5. Avoid Too Much Self-Promotion

Ads and sales pitches often come off as “spammy”. Businesses are trying to sell things to your audience all day, every day. So they’re tired of being advertised to.

This means that every time you make a post asking your audience to buy your product, your trust score will probably decline. Therefore, the best way to build trust on social media is avoiding self-promotion. Never make your content all about selling your product or services.

If you post content that your audience wants to consume, they will reward you with their attention. You should only ask your followers to do something about 20% of the time.

Think about your own behaviour as a consumer and as a human being. Would you want to hang out with someone who is constantly asking you to be their friend? Probably not. You’re more likely to want to spend time with someone you makes you laugh and teaches you new things.

No one will follow your account if you’re constantly nagging them to buy your product. But they will definitely follow and share your posts if you provide them with real value.

This might seem counterintuitive. After all, the reason that you’re spending time on social media is to boost your sales! But you need to realise that modern consumers are trained to tune out advertisements. Unless you build trust with your audience, they will ignore any call-to-action that you post.

6. Be Transparent

Full transparency is one of the best ways to build trust with your audience. Offer your followers a peek behind-the-scenes by posting photos of your team, office, factory or warehouse.

This will give people an insight into how your business runs. They’ll be able to see how your products are made, who makes them and what they’re made of. Importantly, it shows that you have nothing to hide.

Transparency posts are also a great way to show off your brand values. The photos and videos that you share can portray that kind of business that you’re running. For example, if you want to create a brand that is young and vibrant, you can share videos of your team having fun at lunchtime! Or if you want to form a serious, corporate image, you can share photos of your team hard at work.

Consumers want information about your business and if you don’t give it to them, they’ll spend their money elsewhere. This makes behind-the-scenes content is the perfect content to build trust and engage a loyal audience.

7. Encourage User Generated Content

Nothing works better than social proof. A recommendation from a friend is more powerful than any piece of advertising you could create. So the best way to build trust on social media is to encourage others to post about you!

User generated content is the modern-day word-of-mouth. If your customers share photos of your products on social media, all of their friends will see that they’ve benefited from your business. This kind of content is also a great way to increase your social media CTR.

But user generated content is about more than referrals and recommendations. It also allows new potential customers and clients to see your product or service in action. This is always helpful to inspire confidence and encourage them to buy, as they’ll be more confident that your business will meet their needs.

Some great ways to encourage user generated content include:

  • Offering amazing service
  • Provide very unique experiences
  • Do something out of the ordinary
  • Run contests on social media
  • Create a quiz for your audience
  • Make use of hashtags
  • Offer rewards
  • Ask questions

Think about the kinds of things that would make you share a photo of yourself using a product or benefiting from a service on your own social media accounts.

Wrapping Up

If you want to develop your start-up into a meaningful brand, you need to focus on building trust through your social media activities. There’s no way around it. As a new business, the only way to increase your sales and boost your growth is to grow a loyal audience of customers who will boast about your brand to their friends. So to build your brand trust score and take your business to the next level, you should:

  • Be an authority
  • Be helpful
  • Be human
  • Join conversations
  • Avoid too much self-promotion
  • Be transparent
  • Encourage user generated content

These are the best ways for you to inspire confidence in your business by posting quality content across your social channels. If people trust your brand name, they’ll be more likely to share your social media pages and buy products from your business.

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